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Falcons earn season’s first win

The Salisbury football team picked up its first win of the short 2020 season last Friday, beating Pen Argyl 46-20.

Falcon quarterback Quintin Stephens played what might have been the best game of his career. He passed for 163 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for another 176 yards and two scores.

The unselfish senior said he doesn’t know if the effort represented the most touchdowns he’s scored in a game.

“I couldn’t even tell you,” he said when asked the most TDs he scored in one game. “It all started with the offensive line. They started off from the get go. We didn’t have the best of practices all week and they really stepped up tonight. They did a great job tonight.”

Stephens got his team a 7-0 lead when he found Chad Parton for a 27-yard touchdown with 4:20 left in the first quarter.

Pen Argyl asnwered with a seven-play touchdown drive that tied the game early in the second quarter, but the Falcons responded with a eight-play drive capped by Stephens’ 2-yard touchdown run for a 13-7 lead with 7:19 left in the first half.

Sttephens picked off a Pen Argyl pass to get hte ball back then led a six-play drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown strike to Nick Beck for a 20-7 lead late in the first half.

Pen Argyl closed the gap to 20-13 with a scoring drive just before halftime and got the ball back to start the second half. The Knights were drove down to the four-yard line before the Falcon defense came up with a stand.

Had the Knights scored and tied the game, momentum could have shifted in the game.

“Big stop,” said linebacker Ben Krauss, who anchored the Falcon defense Friday. “I think that kept us on top on defense. We knew what we had to do. We practice goal line all week. We handled the adversity down there.”

The Falcons scored twice in a minute late in the third quarter to take extend the lead to two scores.

Stephens found Hunter Bleam for a 4-yard touchdown pass with 1:38 left in the quarter. Then two plays after Parton picked off a Pen Argyl pass, Stephens broke free for a 64-yard scamper down the sidelines to give his team a 20-point lead, 33-13.

Stephens’ sixth touchdown came on a 7-yard pass to Parton for a 39-13 lead with 11:15 left in the game.

Parton finished the night with three receptions for 44 yards and two scores. He also ran the ball five times for 38 yards.

Gio Hines capped Salisbury’s scoring with a 12-yard TD run midway through the fourth. Hines had his biggest rushing game as a Falcon, piling up 151 yards on 22 carries.

“Our offesnive line a fantastic job,” said Salisbury head coach Andy Cerco. “We took the ball and we just drove. We were able to chunk and our kids were making great blocks.”

Krauss, who plays offensive guard, was proud of his unit’s performance.

“Our guys up front, we really stepped it up,” he said. “I’m proud of everyone of them. This is a big win. We’re halfway through the season now. We have three more and they’re pretty tough.”

Krauss also had a huge night on defense, where he made three tackles for loss and helped cause a Knights fumble while leading the team with nine total tackles.

“It was all about up front on the defensive line,” said Krauss, a junior and three-year varsity starter. “They really stepped up and got pressure so the linebackers could do their job. I just find the holes and fill them. That’s what we had to do and I thought we did a great job tonight.”

After the game Stephens called Krauss the quarterback of the defense. Cerco said he’s one of the most valuable players on the team.

“He’s so intergral in how our defense plays,” said Cerco. “And he’s such a good kid. He does everything you ask, above and beyond. I’ll be at school washing jerseys and he’ll come up and ask if I need help. He’s an awesome kid.”

With three games to go in the regular season, the Falcons have a tough remaining schedule with Northwestern on Friday night, Northern Lehigh the next week and Southern Lehigh to wrap up the schedule.

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Pen Argyl's defenders had a difficult time getting their hands on Salisbury's Quintin Stephens, who scored six touchdowns in a win over the Knights Friday.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Salisbury's Ben Krauss (54) had three tackles for loss in the Falcons' win over Pen Argyl.