|Game of back and forth ends with Lion loss to Charlestown|
Much of Friday’s Charlestown-Salem varsity football game was a case of anything you can do, I can do better.
In the end it was the Pirates who managed one more more score than the Lions on their way to a 36-31 win.
“Our kids know they can play with anyone and they have known that,” said Salem Head Coach RJ Hartsfield. “What it comes down to is, we’ve got to go get that win! Maybe these close games will pay off later int he tournament.
“The best part of the Charlestown game was there were no glaring negatives. Sure we had some penalties, but I don’t fault anyone for getting a penalty for being excited.”
The Lions controlled the game early and even led at halftime, but a two-point conversion and a fourth-quarter score both by Anthony Malone the Pirates helped give them the win.
Salem started the scoring when Seth Hobson scored on a 13-yard run. Jacob Thompson kicked the PAT (point after touchdown), giving the Lions a 7-0 lead.
Charlestown answered when Malone scored on an 8-yard run. Malone also added the two-point conversion giving his team the 8-7 lead.
Hobson added another score, this time on a four-yard run. Thompson’s PAT gave the Lions a 14-8 lead.
Charlestown got the scoring started in the second quarter when Malone scored his second touchdown, but his PAT conversion failed with 11:52 remaining in the second.
The 14-all tie was short-lived because Hobson, for the third time in the first half, found pay dirt on a one-yard run. Thompson’s kick, put the Lions back in front 21-14.
The Pirates had another answer, this time when Brendan Lawler threw an 11-yard touchdown strike to Mitch Wurtsmith. The two connected on the PAT pass attempt and Charlestown led for the first time, 22-21, with 1:00 remaining.
Like they had all night, Salem had another answer.
They drove the ball into Pirate territory and took the halftime lead when Thompson kicked a 28-yard field goal as time expired.
Salem led 24-22.
The two teams’ defenses got a little stouter in the second half, but the back and forth tempo of the game didn’t change.
Salem turned its two-point lead into a nine-point advantage when Hobson connected with Evan Brishaber for a 23-yard touchdown. Thompson’s kick made the score 31-22 with 5:05 remaining in the second quarter.
The Lion lead was trimmed to one, after Lawler again connected with Wurtsmith, this time on a 28-yard touchdwon. Malone ran the two-point PAT in and Salem’s lead was 31-30 with 1:00 remaining in the third.
Charlestown’s defense dug in and kept the Lions off the scoreboard the rest of the way.
The Pirates took the lead for good with 4:44 remaining in the game when Malone broke loose for a 65-yard touchdown. The try for two failed, but Charlestown escaped with the win.
Hartsfield said late penalties ended up costing his team.
“One of the penalties I will stake claim on,” he said. “We picked up a fumble and were running it back and the line judge had to run behind me. He had warned me a couple of times for being too far from the sidelines. He threw the flag.”
Instead of having the ball at the Charlestown 40, the ball was brought back to the Salem 15. That ended up being a 45-yard penalty.
Salem had several chances late to put drives together, but two penalties turned third and short yardage situations into third and long.
“It was a tough loss, but you hope it’s one of those games that spring boards you into the rest of your season,” Hartsfield said.
The Lions will try to build on the momentum of being one play away from beating one of the best teams in the Mid Southern Conference when they travel to Eastern Saturday.
The Musketeers will be ridining some momentum of their own after putting up a strong effort in a 21-7 loss at North Harrison.
Charlestown will be at Corydon Central.