SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – The Salem Quakers overcame a disappointing first half to storm back for a 28-19 victory over the Carrollton Warriors Friday night. The win improves the Quakers to 3-3 on the season, 1-2 in the NBC. Carrollton drops to 3-3, 0-3 in the league.
Carrollton scored on their first play of the game and mounted a 17-6 lead at intermission as the Quakers found numerous ways to shoot themselves in the foot. They had a touchdown pass and an interception both called back due to penalties. Offensively they also turned the ball over twice while only picking up two first down in the half.
“It’s a long game and we played probably as poorly as we could play (in the first half) and we were still in it. We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot,” Quakers coach Ron Johnson remarked. “We just have to go out and play the best 24 minutes of football we have played this year,” he said of his halftime address to the team.
“I know it was frustrating, but I knew I had to keep my head,” quarterback Mitch Davidson said. “The breaks were against us, but we just needed to pick up the tempo and bring it to them in the second half.”
Davidson would only complete 5 of 13 passes in the first half for 50 yards and those two interceptions. In the second half he would totally turn things around as he hit 9 of 11 throws for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
“Our coaches just encouraged us. Our wide receivers did a great job running their routes, and we came out took our shots and made it happen,” Davidson said of the second half turnaround.
The Quakers scored on their first possession of the second half when running back Cooper Bezeredi ran in from 7-yards out, and Jake Humeniuk ran in the two-point conversion to make it 17-14 with 6:06 remaining in the third quarter.
Two possessions later the Quakers would strike again as Davidson would connect with Humeniuk on a 5-yard pass to give them their first lead of the game at 21-17. That score would occur with 9:33 left in the game.
They added a 65 catch and run by Turner Johnson two minutes later give them some cushion. With that scoring strike they went up 28-17.
That is when the Quakers defense came up with a big stop as sophomore linebacker Robbie Sarginger tackled the Warriors running back for a 6-yard loss on a fourth down play from the Quakers 3-yard line with a little over three minutes remaining in the contest.
“Everyone finally read the keys and trusting the situation on defense and starting filling their gaps. It just all keyed together,” Sargingher said.
“They came lights out,” Davidson exclaimed of the defense. “The best defense we have played. great coaching, they knew what they were doing. We came out and shut them out.”
Read more: View all week six game recaps/highlights
Salem (2-3) will travel to Minerva in week seven.