Saucon Valley ran the ball on 45 of its 47 offensive plays last Thursday night. And Salisbury head coach Andy Cerco knew heading into the game that would likely be the case.
The only problem was the Falcons couldn’t find an answer for the Panthers’ ground game.
Saucon Valley (3-1) ran for 444 yards and averaged over nine yards per carry in its 41-22 victory over Salisbury last week on the Panthers’ home field. Both of the Panthers’ passes were incomplete.
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.
Salisbury’s top two goal scorers last season combined for 41 goals and 24 assists. Unfortunately for head coach Rick Babyak, both have graduated and leave a major void in the scoring department.
Forward Rylee Donaldson (now playing at Bucknell University) and midfielder Erica Holben are the two main graduates that must be replaced from last year’s team that finished 13-5-2 (8-2-2 in Colonial League) and fell in the District 11 Class 2A semifinal round. Donaldson led the Lady Falcons with 24 goals and 14 assists in 2018, while Holben added 17 goals and 10 assists.
Shane Artis has been to the PIAA Cross Country Championships in each of the past two seasons. He has progressed each year. After coming in 60th place as a sophomore back in 2017, Artis then came in 59th last season with a time of 18:04 at Hershey Park.
Salisbury had three golfers place in the top 50 at last year’s Colonial League Golf Championships at Bethlehem Golf Club. Fortunately for coaches Gregg Laub and Kelly Wetherhold, the top two are returning this fall for the Falcons’ golf team.
Tanner Ruth and Alex Suter were the Falcons’ top two players a season ago, and are now in the midst of their senior seasons leading the Salisbury team on the links.
Last season, Ruth shot a 99 and placed in a tie for 42nd at the league meet, while Suter shot a 108 for 49th place.
The Salisbury field hockey team has endured a rough decade record-wise. But last season ended up being one of the Lady Falcons’ best in recent memory.
The Lady Falcons finished 10-10 in 2018 (including an 8-8 record in the Colonial League), and qualified for the District 11 Class 2A tournament. A tough 2-0 setback against Southern Lehigh kept Salisbury from reaching the championship game.
The Salisbury girls tennis team opened its fall season with a convincing 4-1 win over nonleague foe Jim Thorpe last week.
The line up for that match was a near mirror image of the team that took the court in 2018.
Head coach Rob Benson returns everyone except for one doubles player from last year on a team that went 9-8 last fall and qualified for the District 11 team tournament. The Lady Falcons’ chemistry and camaraderie seems to be evident early on.
There’s no question that 2018 was a tough season for the Salisbury boys’ soccer team after missing the postseason and finishing with a 5-12-1 record (4-8 in Colonial League).
But the good news is that head coach Mark Allinson returns a lot of experience for the upcoming fall season. Early on, the Falcons have been much more positive and upbeat than in the past, and he hopes that translates into more wins on the pitch and a trip back to postseason soccer.
With starting running back Timmy Buda injuring his ankle a couple days before Friday’s season opener and playing at less than 100 percent, Salisbury junior running back Chad Parton felt an extra need to step up. And he did in a big way.
Parton scored three touchdowns—one each on offense, defense and special teams—as Salisbury (1-0) pulled away in the second half for a 25-16 win over Pen Argyl (0-1) on the Falcons’ home turf on Friday night.
Salisbury football head coach Andy Cerco remembers last year’s ending against Pen Argyl vividly. The Green Knights scored a last-second touchdown to secure a 17-16 win over the Falcons. And it was on a play that Cerco and the Falcons expected Pen Argyl to run.
“You think about it all the time, but you have to move on,” Cerco said. “We knew it. Our kids knew it. We just didn’t make the right choice at that particular time.”