Colton falls in defensive battle
Decided underdogs going into its Friday night game against Salem Academy, the Colton Vikings very nearly pulled off the upset, eventually losing a hard-fought defensive battle by a 14-8 score.
Defense was the name of this game and a couple key plays turned the tide in the Crusaders win over the Vikings (0-2 in league, 1-2 overall)
Salem Academy got on the board first. After a scoreless first quarter, things looked like they would end the second the same way until the Crusaders broke loose with a 70-yard touchdown run to go up 7-0. Colton came back, however, and drove nearly the length of the field before running out of time in the quarter.
"We come back out after half and we break a big one, a 70-yard touchdown run, but there was a flag on the ground" that pulled that run back, according to coach Jason Stewart. "It was an ineligible lineman wearing the wrong number. Linemen have to have numbers from 50 and up and we had a lineman in there with a number 44 filling in for an injured tackle and they take the touchdown away."
Again, the defenses dictated play through the rest of the third quarter and into the fourth as three-and-outs were the norm for both sides.
"Finally, we're driving down the field and our quarterback throws a pick that Salem Academy runs all the way back to the three yard line," Stewart said. "During the play my center Tanner Naylor tries to make the tackle and gets hurt. He had a neck injury and the ambulance came and took him away, but he held up his hand up giving us the 'Okay.' He will be okay."
Salem Academy punched in the ball to make it 14-0 with about eight minutes left.
The Vikings then put together a drive down the field and finally break through for a score. The two-point conversion was good and Colton trailed Salem Academy by a 14-8 score.
But the defensive play of both teams would keep any more scores from occurring over those final eight minutes. Colton had a mini-drive going late, but another interception killed that drive and secure the win for Salem Academy.
"The outcome should have been different," Steward said. "The touchdown they took from us was legit that #44 was filling in for an injured #71, which they didn't say anything about until the score. It should have been 15-14, but it is what it is. We will hope for the best next week at Regis."
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