Though crosstown rivals Salem Hills and Maple Mountain are no longer in the same region, the intense rivalry remains and was on full display when the two teams clashed Friday night. At the end of four quarters, Salem Hills walked away with the 28-25 victory in a scrappy game bogged down by self-inflicted setbacks for both teams.
For Salem Hills, down by three at the half, a plethora of penalties was the biggest obstacle, costing it well over 200 yards, including several huge gains on big yardage plays mostly due to holding calls. Maple Mountain, on the other hand, was plagued with a slew of dropped balls that beset its offense throughout the contest and cost it big yardage all night.
Things got off to a slow start offensively for both squads, neither scoring until late in the first when Salem Hills finally struck. Skyhawk quarterback Jorgen Olsen found Zeke Mangum streaking up the right side from 20 yards out to put Salem Hills on the board, 7-0
One minute later, Salem’s Reed Johnson picked a pass on the Eagle’s 25-yard line and took it to the house for six, putting Salem up 14-0 and firmly in control of things at the end of the first.
The second quarter saw Maple Mountain roaring back with three unanswered scores. The first was when Eagle quarterback Cameron Dorny connected with wide receiver Cole Christensen, who charged in from 20 yards out. With 58 seconds left in the half, Dorny hit Tyler Nelson for a 32-yard dash to the goal line, tying it at 14. With less than a minute left to go until the half, Salem coughed the ball up to the Eagles on a fumbled kick-off reception that Maple Mountain turned into a field goal as time expired, putting the Eagles up 17-14 at the break.
The third quarter belonged to the Skyhawks, thanks to a shifty and tenacious Olsen, who slashed and dashed his way into the end zone not once but twice. The first came on a quarterback keeper that resulted in a 35-yard score. The second was a quarterback draw that saw Olsen rumble over the goal line from 2 yards out.
On the other side of the ball, Salem’s stingy defense swarmed the Eagles, preventing them from finding any momentum, giving up only 21 yards on the ground.Comment on this story
The fourth quarter was scoreless for both teams until 4.2 seconds remained. That’s when Dorny found the end zone on a quarterback keeper and then completed a pass for the two-point conversion for a final score of 28-25 for Salem Hills.
Skyhawk head coach Harry Schwenke was happy with the win but concerned about the penalties. “We have to be more disciplined in order to keep ourselves ahead of the sticks. We need to turn around and correct mistakes and quit committing penalties that extend drives. We are looking forward to our matchup next week against Corner Canyon, but we must minimize penalties and be more efficient on offense.”