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Salem junior Coleman Fox rushed for four TDs and 149 yards in the River Ridge District victory.
JEANNINE COOPER | Special to The Roanoke Times
Christiansburg’s Tanner Reed rushes for a 30-yard touchdown against Salem Friday night. Salem pulled away to win 47-14.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
CHRISTIANSBURG - Salem's football team traded jabs and body blows with Christiansburg in the first half of Friday night's River Ridge District showdown.
Then the Spartans hit the Blue Demons with a haymaker just before halftime and a one-two combination early in the third quarter.
No decision was necessary. It was a TKO.
Final: Salem 47, Christiansburg 14.
Salem (4-2, 3-0) rolled up 477 yards total offense in the first quarters, leading 40-14 before clearing the bench in the final period.
"We wanted to establish the run," 6-foot-6, 280-pound offensive tackle Alex Light said. "Nobody's hit them in the mouth all season, so we came up here with a game plan to hit them right in the mouth."
Junior running back Coleman Fox rushed for 149 yards and four touchdowns, while junior quarterback Austin Coulling completed 13 of 17 passes for 232 yards.
The Spartans finished with 514 yards, including 282 on the ground.
"It was definitely a little bit of reality for us," Christiansburg senior linebacker Seth Wills said. "It should have never happened like that. We didn't play our game and they did. They were the better team tonight."
Christiansburg (5-2, 3-1) led 14-13 until Coulling led a 75-yard drive for Salem that ended with Fox's third TD of the first half, a 15-yard run around right end for a 19-14 Spartans lead with 3:55 remaining.
The Blue Demons could have gone to halftime down by five points, but the home team gambled and lost.
Quarterback Charlie Jackson's first-down pass from the 46 was picked off by Devante Payne, who embarked on a rambling 55-yard sojourn to the end zone for a 26-14 Salem lead.
"My mama always told me that I would be a better player if I would pick my legs up," Payne said.
"I saw my big offensive lineman Alex Light down the field. I knew if I could beat one guy, he would push me into the end zone."
With possession to open the second half, Salem had the Blue Demons on the ropes after Payne's pick-six.
"It shifted the momentum greatly," Light said. "We got the ball back in the second half. We knew if we could score, it would be over."
Salem didn't settle for just one TD.
Coulling and Parker hooked up on a 50-yard TD pass on the first series for a 33-14 Salem lead.
On the first play after the kickoff, Chandler Hunt intercepted Jackson's pass near the right sideline. Salem went 70 yards in nine plays for a 2-yard run by Fox, whose first two TDs came on runs of 7 and 35 yards.
Fox had a productive sophomore year in 2012, but it was at wide receiver.
"Last year we had a few other backs. We needed to get him on the field at receiver," Salem coach Stephen Magenbauer said. "He's a natural tailback. We've been playing him there more and more. He's settling in a little bit."
Christiansburg coach Tim Cromer agreed.
"Coleman Fox was impressive," Cromer said. "He's physical. He cuts well. He gets downhill and he's hard to tackle. Parker can catch the football. He's strong and hard to tackle. Their quarterback is very efficient. We tried to get pressure but were unable to do it. All those are a recipe for disaster for us.
Christiansburg rushed for 149 yards in the first half as Tanner Reed's 30-yard TD run and a 13-yarder by Kory Hendricks gave the Blue Demons a pair of go-ahead scores.
However, Christiansburg's top two rushers combined for just three carries in the second half. The Blue Demons ran just nine offensive plays in the final two quarters before a throwaway possession the last two minutes.
The Spartans held Christiansburg to 57 yards in the second half.
"Give credit to Salem," Cromer said. "To me, they're pretty daggone good. Typical Salem football. It's just hard to get them off the field.
"When you turn it over two or three straight times and give up scores, that's going to take care of business right there. We've got to get better. I'm very disappointed."
Salem 13 13 14 7 - 47
Christiansburg 7 7 0 0 - 14
S- Fox 7 run (kick failed)
C - Reed 30 run (Hamley kick)
S - Fox 35 run (Reighard kick)
C- Hendricks 13 run (Hamley kick)
S - Fox 15 run (kick failed)
S-Payne 55 interception return (Reighard kick)
S- Parker 50 pass from Coulling (Reighard kick)
S - Fox 2 run (Reighard kick)
S - Duhon 1 run (Foley kick)
First downs 22 9
Rushes-yards 45-282 32-164
C-A-I 13-17-0 3-12-3
Passing yards 232 55
Penalties-yards 2-15 1 -3
Fumbles-lost 5-2 2-1
Punts 2-32.0 5-31.4
RUSHING - Salem, Fox 16-149, Payne 10-65, Hunt 9-32, Ramsey 3-19, Duhon 4-13, King 1-4, Womack 2-0. Christiansburg, Hendricks 10-73, Reed 8-57, Adkins 5-17, Vaughn 1-16, Brown 2-10, Giantonio 2-3, Dunn 1-2, Jackson 3-(-14).
PASSING - Salem, Coulling 13-17-0-232. Christiansburg, Jackson 3-12-3.
RECEIVING - Salem, Parker 7-102, Gladden 2-58, Ramsey 1-30, Payn 1-15, Close 1-11, Womack 1-6. Christiansburg, Hendricks 1-33, Hamley 1-13, Vitaliano 1-9.
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