Salem - September 11, 2015
It was one of those nights at Patterson Field that stirs memories. The sun setting over the aging concrete stadium gave cause for the 5,500-seat structure, built in 1934 by the WPA, to stand out like an Egyptian pyramid.
Traffic jams that occur in both directions on West Eighth Street are always compounded when playing a team from the north when the vehicles of their fans become backed up on the Route 11 exit ramp, while some try to beat the system by driving over the back hills, affording them a more maneuverable right-hand turn into the parking area.
Then there are the Potter faithful constantly trying to associate the atmosphere with “the good old days.” Unfortunately, the hometown team did not quite come up to such expectations for the second week in a row, dropping a 42-7 contest to an improved Salem team coached by Ron Johnson, who came from Canton McKinley three years ago.
Receiving the opening kickoff, the visitors never looked back, holding the ball on 12 of the first 15 plays concluding with a five-yard scoring pass from from Matt Weingart to Kade Byland at 7:47 in the first quarter. Max Righetti’s conversion kick made it 7-0.
The Quakers added a pair of TDs in the second quarter, both on one-yard sneaks by Weingart. The spunky signal caller took it to the house to wrap up a quick three-play, 48-yard drive at the beginning of the period and picked up his second TD with 7:27 prior to intermission. Righetti was good on both conversion kicks and the teams went to the locker rooms with the Blue and White down 21-0.
The Red and Black didn’t let up following the break with Cooper Bezeredi scoring twice. The junior running back crossed the final stripe on a 55-yard run after the Potters went three-and-out on their opening possession of the half. His other TD came from one yard out with a little less than three minutes left to play in the third quarter.
Sandwiched between Bezeredi’s impressive effort was a 17-yard pitch from Weingart to Jake Humeniuk with 5:58 ticks remaining in the third.
Righetti was perfect on his conversion kicks in the second half making him six-for-six on the night.
East Liverpool’s only score came on a one-yard plunge by Dillan Reynolds with 7:01 left to play. Dylan Kidder converted to make it 42-7, the final.
“Mistakes really got us tonight,” said a disappointed Josh Ludwig, “Just penalties, and I’ll take the blame. Apparently, we weren’t ready to play, so we need to get back to the fundamentals; not hold, not jump offside, not have late hits, not have unsportsman-like conduct penalties, clipping and lining up off sides. It’s time to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate.”
It was the Kade Byland show for Salem. In the words of his coach, “Everything he did in blocking, the passing game and leadership was outstanding.”
Byland’s interception with ball on the EL 21, taking it back to Salem’s 15 with 5:58 in the half was a back-breaker even though the result was an aborted fake field goal with 4:35 left to play in the second quarter.
It seemed as if the Potters had taken advantage of the botched FG attempt which launched them on a 10-play, 70-yard drive that bogged down on the Salem 13 with 2:03 to play in the first half.
Dylan Kidder, a member of the EL soccer team, made his second conversion kick of the season.