Falcons host Spartans in regular season finale
It's hard to believe we've gone throw two-plus months action of high school football already.
On Friday night, the Colonial League slate for Salisbury culminates against one of its biggest rivals. The Falcons (4-5) host Southern Lehigh (8-1) at 7 p.m. at Salisbury High School. The Spartans are tied with Northwestern and Saucon Valley atop the Colonial League standings and need a win for a share of this year's league title.
The Falcons have already won four games in 2014, tied for the amount of victories they captured in the previous three seasons combined. They would like to end this year on a good note with a competitive showing against the Spartans.
"Obviously we want to win the game. That's number one," said Falcon head coach Andy Cerco. "We want to continue what we've built upon throughout the year. We're going in with the mentality that we're going to play a big game and take it one play at a time.
"The players are buying into our program, our approach to the game of football, and our approach to them as players and individuals. People come from different backgrounds and that stuff, and they're able to come together as a team and work for a common goal. It's a credit to them more than anything."
The Spartans' offense is centered around quarterback Travis Edmond, a senior who is very much capable of producing in both the passing and running game. In the Spartans' 51-6 romp over Catasauqua last week, Edmond passed for 123 yards and two scores, both of which came in the first half that saw Southern Lehigh drop 37 points.
"He throws the ball really well and makes good decisions," Cerco said. "He is their team leader, and he is a really good kid. Our players are going to know where he is and what he's doing every play."
Edmond only had four carries on the day, but his 56 yards on the ground was third on the team behind Austen Hughes and Tim Walter. He's one of the most gifted signal callers the Falcons will face all season.
"As far as being a complete quarterback, he's probably the best quarterback that we've seen," Cerco said. "This quarterback is definitely a good passer. He understands the game of football, and he understands how to lead his team. Not that those other guys don't, but I feel like he's on another level in comparison to the other guys in the league."
Hughes, meanwhile, is one of the Spartans' top rushers. He ran for a game-high 105 yards on just three attempts, and one of his carries was a 58-yard touchdown on Southern Lehigh's first play from scrimmage.
Hughes also caught both of Redmond's touchdowns and finished with 37 receiving yards against the Rough Riders. Walter ran for 77 on four attempts.
The Spartans' rushing attack is one similar to Salisbury's as a number of players are capable of carrying the load. No Spartan had more than five carries in the game, but five players (Hughes, Walter, Edmond, Luke Strauss and Blake Levengood) eclipsed the 40-yard mark for a team that totaled 431 on the ground.
"On both sides of the ball, it is kind of a mirror image in some ways," Cerco said. "They're base offense is a wing-T and so is ours. Their base defensive is a 4-3 and so is ours.
"There are a few differences here and there as far as what they like to do offensively, and as far as what we like to do. They like to run rocket toss, jet sweep and outside zone plays. They do a good job on counters and play-action passes."
Wide receiver Ethan Price (two catches for 48 yards last week) was Edmond's top target in the passing game. Matt Watkins caught two balls for 31 yards.
Friday night is Senior Night for the Falcons, where the seniors and their parents will be recognized before kickoff.