|High School Football:
Salem Rams Get the Job Done
Saturday, September 20, 2003
By Graig White
Pitman coach Guy Davidson said it all. “Unfortunately for us, we often have to run up against perennially one of the top teams in the conference in game one. Our program is not to that level yet and we’re certainly still working to get there.” The Panthers played with a lot of heart and it was evident that they did everything they could humanly do but on this day it was all Salem. The fact they finished the game at all was an accomplishment and the final score of 20-0 really didn’t tell the story.
Salem dominated from the opening kick-off but somehow it really didn’t feel like it. They took the opening kick-off and ran a 19 play drive that ate up 10:27. The Rams would get as close as the Pittman 1 yard line and couldn’t punch it in. Pittman would take over on downs and finds that moving the ball on a defense that is as rugged and ready to play as the Rams will be difficult. The first quarter ended with neither team scoring. On the Rams second possession of the game, the offense came out ready to go to work, getting the ball at the Panther 35 yard line. The Mark Anderson led offense took control handing the ball off to fullback Corey Smith or running it himself. The offense went down the field and on a 1-yard quarterback keeper, Anderson scored the first touchdown of the brand new season. The point after touchdown was missed, the Rams had to settle for a 6 0
After a 3 and out by Salem, William Barnes took matters into his own hands. Barnes grabbed an interception and returned it 34 yards to the Panther 27 yard line, and then on offense a great catch and run by Barnes scored a 27-yard touchdown on the first play after the turnover from Mark Anderson. Barnes’ height caused problems for the Pittman defenders. “I was taller than all of them, so might as well throw me the ball,” said Barnes. He finished his offensive day with 139 yards on 4 catches. Corey Smith converted the 2-point attempt and the score was now 14-0. With all that said the best was yet to be. Smith would receive the pitch from Anderson and with the way Salem was running the ball, the Pittman defense converged on Smith who stopped and lofted a 75 yard touchdown to Barnes which would put an end to the scoring.
Salem put up numbers that would have made most coaches happy. The offense out gained the Panthers 258 to 37 and the defense allowed only 3 first downs. Speaking of the defense, the knockout blow came when running back Dustin Darrow took a hand off and ventured into the middle of the Ram defense. Linebacker Lamont Robinson, with a running start, hit him so hard that the force of it separated Darrow from his helmet, and put him out of the game. Dustin was not the only casualty. Pittman also lost center Jack Kinnarney on their first offensive play.
Coach Dave Lindenmuth said,” Pittman’s always a big fame for us, the last two years it’s come down to the last couple of minutes so it was good to come out and play some what well. We’ve got a lot of things we have to work out though.”
©2003 South Jersey Sports Online