By Jeremy McDonald
SCIO, Ore.– It’s been all too long since the Salem Academy has won a football game. You’ll have to go back to October 12, 2018 against Blanchet for the last time the Crusaders found themselves in the win column.
To get to this point where they won 45-8, Salem Academy had to go up against a challenging task: Slowing down the Loggers Machine and triple-option offense.
They did. Holding Scio to a Kade Mask 33-yard scamper in the second quarter.
The Crusaders had to take advantage of their opportunities that they got. Knowing that if the Loggers got into a groove, the clock would be churring away with little they can do about it.
Salem Academy did just that. Scoring 31 first half points and scored their first 40-burger since October 6, 2017 when they scored 52 points against Gervais in a then-PacWest Conference game.
A complete team effort for sure as the Crusaders gave Head Coach Jed Leeper his first win as a Head Coach of the program in his second-year at the helm as they prepare now for Willamina on Thursday evening.
“We just had to focus on our roles on defense. Their offense, it’s really good and when they have big lineman, they’ll kill us in certain situations. If we did our roles, we’ll slow those guys and not let them push any farther,” said Chase Brown, who had a rushing touchdown and a scoop-and-score strike. “We need to keep that momentum up.
“There’s a few things we could change for me and other people. We’re just going to keep getting better. We’re not going to go down, we’re going to keep getting better for each game. So I’m excited for what’s going to come in the next game.”
Keep getting better is all you can ask for during this unique season. For Mask, who rushed for 78 yards on 22 carries Friday, he’s one of only a handful of Scio football players with Varsity experience.
And as painful as this game was for him and his squad, it’s a foundation point moving forward. To build from as they now prepare for a Jefferson team coming off a nice win over the Cougars of Gervais down the road on this night as the younger guys adjust to the grueling demands of being a Varsity athlete.
“It was an eye-opener for (the younger guys), they realize what it takes and not to overlook the opponent,” said Mask. “I felt like we were better than that (tonight), we got to come back next week and fix all of our mistakes. If we come back next week and fix all of our mistakes we made, we can be a good team.”
Jake Trissel added 67 yards on ten carries and Carson Geneser contributed 40 yards on another ten carries for Scio.
The Crusaders Brandon Reed had a 50-yard passing touchdown to Justin Johnson on the second play of the game. Reed also contributed a rushing touchdown in the victory. Brown finished with 66 yards on eight carries and had a reception for 14 yards in the game. Gavin Stamback, Landon Iverson and John Bennett scored for Salem Academy Friday night as they get to enjoy a long awaited win.
“It was a very important game for us to win there. Last year we didn’t win any games and this changes everything. I’m really glad we got this game won,” Brown said.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald