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Savages pull out all the stops, eke out victory late

Salmon River 22, Deary 20

Salmon River’s Alex Diaz was kept from tackling Deary’s runner by an illegal block in the end zone early in the Savages’ narrow victory over the Mustangs last Saturday, Nov. 21.

Photo by Andrew Ottoson
Salmon River’s Alex Diaz was kept from tackling Deary’s runner by an illegal block in the end zone early in the Savages’ narrow victory over the Mustangs last Saturday, Nov. 21.



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Harper The Hammer Cutting behind a block by Beaud Hopkins (52), Salmon River’s Canyon Harper (21) ran over a Deary defender on his way into the end zone with what proved to be the decisive touchdown last Saturday night, Nov. 21. Harper, Rylie Travis, Tucker Boyd and Hopkins accounted for Salmon River’s offensive scores, with Travis running in the opening score and Hopkins housing a short pass from Boyd early in the game. After hitting Hopkins, Boyd tallied the conversion — the only one either team would convert — which proved crucial. Also crucial: a defensive score that resulted from a block-in-the-back penalty, which Alex Diaz drew in the course of trying to track down a Deary runner in the end zone.

— It’s almost enough to make a man wonder: how many more rabbits are there in Salmon River’s collective hat?

Coach Charlie Shepherd pulled one out on a fourth down play during the fourth quarter of a two-point game last Saturday evening, Nov. 21.

Needing a half-dozen yards, the Savages stunned Deary by running not toward the line of scrimmage, but toward each other, forming a knot, from which they sprang carefully arrayed against precisely the Mustangs’ confusion.

Beaud Hopkins carried the ball, while defenders mistakenly tracked Canyon Harper out to the right and Tucker Boyd out to the left.

The lane forward opened up as designed, Hopkins converted the first down, and Salmon River ran out the clock on a 22-20 victory.

For a few minutes early in the game, it looked as if the Savages would win in a blowout: Rylie Travis scored a rushing touchdown on Salmon River’s opening possession, Alex Diaz drew a penalty in the end zone to score a safety, and Hopkins took a pass from Boyd to pay dirt.

By the time Deary recovered, SRHS led 16-0, with Boyd’s run on a conversion proving fateful.

Salmon River stopped every one of Deary’s extra point tries.

The Savages went up by 10 — 22-12 — when Harper bowled over a defender at the goal line during the third quarter.

Salmon River held Deary out of the end zone, but disaster nearly struck when an offensive misplay turned into a safety, awarding two points and the ball to Deary early in the fourth quarter. Deary scored rapidly, but the Savages held off the Mustangs, with powerful runs and pure guile producing several crucial first downs.



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