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High School Football:
Salem Decides Outcome during Final Quarter

Saturday, September 17, 2005

By Vincent Lewis
SJSports Staff Writer

Saturday's match-up between Salem and Overbrook turned out to be exactly what each team's nickname represented. For three quarters, both teams were striking against each other with a heavy and forceful impact. Driving and forcing passage in order to plow through to get into a designated place. There are various definitions for the word Ram and Salem and Overbrook were demonstrated that word for the entire game. This Tri-Country Conference game was deadlocked at fourteen apiece at the start of the fourth quarter. Brandon Robbins would score his second touchdown of the day to break that tie and eventually lead the Salem Rams to a 29-14 victory over the Overbrook Rams.

This was the second weekend of the high school football season but for Salem and Overbrook, it was opening day. Early in this game, Overbrook went to work trying to establish the running game behind starting quarterback Chris Lingham and runningbacks Jamil Johnson and Brahin Alstin. On the fourth play of their opening drive, Alstin took the handoff and sprinted down the left sidelines and scored the games first touchdown with 9:28 remaining in the quarter. The extra point attempt was blocked, but Overbrook would take their 6-0 lead into the second quarter. Overbrook would continue to push the ball down field but a turnover stalled that drive.

Looking to capitalize on a turnover, Salem began to move the ball alternating quarterbacks Levi Thompson and Craig Ward as the signal caller. With the football now inside the twenty yard line, Thomas Patterson scored from 11 yards out tying the score with 10:21 remaining in the half. The extra point attempt was no good, but that didn’t stop the Salem Rams from putting more points on the scoreboard. Just over four minutes later and after Robbins put return gave Salem excellent field position, but the Overbrook Rams’ defense was able to stop Salem at the one yard line. Salem would have another opportunity when Greg Anthony’s acrobatic catch inside the ten yard line. Robbins would score his first rushing touchdown of the game giving Salem a 14-6 lead at the half after a two point conversion.

Overbrook struck first in the second half tying this game when Johnson’s sweep left from the 4 yard line set up a possible tie with 8:37 remaining in the quarter. That’s when Lingham lined up his team and completed a pass to Jim LaVelle and the game was knocked at 14. It wasn’t until the final quarter that Salem proved to be the better team on this day. Robbins would score from just outside the 2 yard line and Ward ended the scoring in this game on a quarterback keeper.

Photos by Art Redd

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