After qualifying for the district tournament in two of the past three seasons, there won’t be another postseason trip for the Salisbury football team in 2018. R
egardless of what happens on Friday night in the Falcons’ season finale against Southern Lehigh, a berth in the competitive Class 3A playoffs has been out of reach for weeks.
Salisbury and Southern Lehigh both finished the Colonial League portion of their schedules 8-2-2 and tied for the fourth and final playoff spot in the league tournament.
But only one of those teams could earn the No. 4 seed and a date with top-seeded and unbeaten Saucon Valley when the tournament opened on Tuesday. Due to a tiebreaker, the Falcons ended up on the outside looking in.
Salisbury knew Bangor’s rushing attack would be tough to deal with entering last week’s game. But when the Falcons were without a number of starters entering that contest, and then added a couple more to the injury list, things got even tougher.
Bangor ran for 242 yards on the ground and took a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. The Falcons could never get within striking distance as the Slaters enforced the mercy rule in the second half and picked up the 45-10 victory last Friday at Salisbury High School.
Judging by some of the film Salisbury football head coach Andy Cerco was able to watch on Palmerton, it seems as if the Blue Bombers are also dealing with key injuries to their playmakers.
When the two teams kick off on Friday night in Palmerton, both will look to get back on the winning side of the seesaw after a rough past couple of weeks. Salisbury and Palmerton are both sitting at 2-6 in the Colonial League’s West Division after losses in Week 8.
With a relatively young team once again, Salisbury boys soccer head coach Mark Allinson expected another transition season in 2018.
And while the Falcons finished 4-12-1 overall and 4-8 in the Colonial League and missing out on a postseason berth for the second straight season, there were some positives to take away.
Salisbury entered Friday’s game against Northern Lehigh already without two of its top play makers in running back Chad Parton and fullback Kyle Pingarelli.
If that didn’t make things tough enough, the Falcons lost another one play maker against the Bulldogs. Maybe even their top one offensively.
The Bulldogs (4-3) ran for 247 yards on the ground, led by Justin Paul’s 159, en route to a 27-13 victory over Salisbury (2-5) at Northern Lehigh High School.
Perhaps the biggest game left on both teams’ schedules, at least in terms of the Colonial League field hockey postseason picture, took two days to finish.
After a storm that postponed last week’s game between Salisbury and Northwestern, the two teams picked that contest up on Saturday with about 53 minutes of game time left to play. It seemed as if the layoff affected the Falcons more than the Tigers.
When Salisbury hosts Bangor in Week 8 of the Colonial League football season, both teams will be looking to get back on the winning track.
Salisbury (2-5) is coming off a tough loss to Northern Lehigh a week ago in which several of its play makers were sidelined with injuries. Bangor (3-4) has lost three straight after starting the season 3-1, including last Friday’s 51-13 letdown against Palisades.
The Colonial League held its annual tennis tournament last week. Despite the Falcons’ youth, a number of Salisbury players had impressive outings last Thursday at Saucon Valley High School.
Leading the way was sophomore Paige Gibbons at the No. 2 singles’ spot. Gibbons won her first eight-game pro set over Bangor’s Gioia Beltrano, 8-5. The Falcon sophomore then dropped her next match against Moravian Academy top-seeded Miranda Gibson, 8-0, and then against Southern Lehigh’s Kayla Lebby, 8-0.
Rylee Donaldson’s sophomore soccer season was filled with injury as the speedy forward and midfielder missed half of the 2016 season with a broken arm.
There was also a bit of insult added to injury. After a remarkable freshman season, Donaldson couldn’t help but look into the future and think of where she could possibly wind up in the Salisbury record books. That is, up until that injury sidelined her for 11 games two years ago.