|Dragons prove to be comeback kids in win over visiting Salem|
After controlling the first half against the visiting Salem Lions Friday, Silver Creek found itself playing catchup in the second half.
The Dragons overcame deficits of 10-7 and 17-14, on their way to a 21-17 victory and the program’s first-ever 2-0 start.
Head Coach John Dablow, who took the Silver Creek job after stepping down as coach at Eastern (Pekin), down played the fast start and said there is still a lot of work to do.
“It’s been fun and we’ve had a great couple of weeks and I am looking forward to working with these kids the rest of the year,” Dablow said.
SC was the first to crack the scoreboard when senior Noah Jones capped off an 11-play drive when he scored from four yards out.
Sophomore Daniel Barrett added the PAT (Point After Touchdown), giving the Dragons a 7-0 lead with 1:48 remaining in the first quarter.
Neither team got much going in the way off offense in the second quarter.
It wasn’t until just a minute remained on the clock before halftime, when the Lions scored on a 27-yard field goal by Jacob Thompson.
Silver Creek wasn’t content to go into halftime with just seven points. The Dragons ran an affective two-minute offense that helped them take the ball deep into Salem territory.
The drive and the half ended when SC’s Junior quarterback Jeffery Belviy threw an interception.
In the second half, SHS drew first blood when they scored on a 37-yard pass and catch from junior quarterback Seth Hobson to Spencer Meadows.
Thompson’s PAT, put Salem in front 10-7.
The teams traded possessions, but after the Silver Creek defense came up with a big stop inside their own territory, the Dragon O went to work.
They mounted a nine-play scoring drive that ended when Belviy completed a pass to Jones that covered 50 yards. Barrett’s PAT put SC back in front 14-10 with 25.5 seconds left in the third quarter.
Salem answered the score and went up17-14 on its next possession with 9:33 left on the game clock.
Less than a minute later, SC went back on top when sophomore back Jacob Garrett scored on a 20-yard run.
Barrett’s PAT gave the Dragons the lead for good, 21-17.
While many will point to that drive as the game winner, it was actually SC’s last drive that sealed the victory.
After Garrett’s scoring run, the Silver Creek defense forced a three-and-out, giving them the ball back with a little over 6:30 let to go in the game.
The Dragons behind their offensive line managed to keep the ball the entire time thanks to two huge fourth-down conversions.
Dablow credited his boys up front, which include Stephen Green, Grainger Mattingly, Stephen Beaver, Blase Goonan and Jamison Shields. The tight-end is Jake Lemon.
“We had a couple of three and outs, but we asked the line to step up and they did and played big,” Dablow said. “It’s a great group to work with. They really adapted well to our system. They come to work everyday and it’s been a lot of fun.”
The other key in the final minutes was the down-hill running of Garrett.
“(Jacob) is a load, we are glad he is on our team,” Dablow said. “What’s even better is he is a sophomore and we hope he sticks around for a few years.”
Dablow also credited his defense for digging in after allowing two Salem scoring drives.
“Salem got a couple big plays,” Dablow said. “I thought we played pretty sound in stopping their run. Salem’s quarterback (Seth Hobson) is tough. For the most part, we did a nice job of bottling him up.”
The Dragons are 1-0 in the conference and will have another tough test Friday at Corydon Central.
“They are always good and they have a ton of athletes all over the field,” Dablow said of facing the Panthers. “They run their stuff and they run it well. Plus it’s a road game and it’s always tough. We will have to get in the film room and come up with a plan.”
Friday’s game at Corydon will begin at 7 p.m.