Salisbury Press

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Salisbury football team hosts Wilson in Week 3

Thursday, September 5, 2019 by TODD KRESS tkress@tnonline.com in Sports

A week after seemingly everything went against Salisbury during last week’s game, the Falcons will look to get back on track in Week 3 when they return home to host Wilson (1-1).

In the Falcons’ 38-17 loss to Northwestern last Thursday, Salisbury committed 15 penalties for 120 yards, and lost starting quarterback Trey Weber on the first series due to injury.

With a long week of preparation underway, Salisbury hopes to get back in the win column when the Warriors visit for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday night.

“A lot of it was things we can control, and that’s what we addressed at halftime,” Cerco said. “Right away at halftime that was the first thing we addressed that these are all things we can control. They were for illegal procedures. There were plays where we didn’t have enough players on the field. It was a matter of our kids making it a focus.

“I feel like we got better in the second half. Obviously it’s a priority every week, but with the results on Thursday night it’s certainly going to be more of a point of focus for us this week.”

Sophomore quarterback Cayden Smith led Wilson’s come-from-behind victory in Week 2 against Palisades. The Warriors scored all of their points in the fourth quarter to defeat the Pirates, 15-12, and even their record.

Rewind to Week 1 to a tough 14-10 loss to Northern Lehigh, Smith completed just 5-of-17 passes for 31 yards and an interception. But his presence was felt more in the running game as he was responsible for Wilson’s only touchdown of the game.

“They’re actually kind of a little bit between both offenses [Pen Argyl and Northwestern],” Cerco said. “They run some spread concepts. They run three- or four-wide receiver sets and those kinds of things. But then they have a period of time where they go to a traditional I-formation backfield and run the ball a lot. They’ll go to a two-tight end set and sort of smash the football.”

Senior running back Alec Snyder has been the workhorse out of the backfield through two games for the Warriors. He ran for 95 yards on 13 carries against Northern Lehifh two weeks ago. He figures to be a key piece for the Warriors once again, as well as junior CJ Jazio, who carried the ball eight times in the season opener.

“When they got to their two-tight end set, they have some guys that get after it,” Cerco said. “Their fullbacks and tailbacks are pretty decent coming down hill. And they’ve got some good tight ends.”

Senior Isaiah Casado led all Warrior receivers in the first game with two catches for 24 yards. Junior Dylan Goldsworth, sophomore Zack Gillen and Snyder have also been some of Smith’s favorite targets in the passing game.

“They do like throwing the ball deep,” Cerco said. “They have some receivers that are pretty fast and go get the ball. Their quarterback can both thrown the ball pretty accurately, and he runs the ball sometimes as well.”

For the second consecutive week, Salisbury’s running game was largely held in check. The Falcons mustered just 48 yards—led by Timmy Buda’s 15 yards on six carries—against Northwestern last week. And against Pen Argyl in the season opener, the Falcons had just 49 yards on the ground.

“Every week we go in with a certain set of runs and passes that we think will be successful,” Cerco said. “We do want to be balanced, and we have that in our game plan, but over the course of the game you kind of get a feel for what is effective and what our players are doing well. And that might change every week.”

Throughout the month of September, Salisbury will participate in its “Touchdown against Cancer” campaign in which people can donate a flat amount or a certain amount per touchdown during the month of September. Proceeds will go towards St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital.

Friday night will also be “Shirt off the Back Night” for Salisbury in which the senior players and cheerleaders will recognize a member of the school district staff prior to kickoff.