Columbiana, OH – The Salem Quakers came into their season opener on Thursday at Crestview with the bitter taste of a 5-6 record from 2020 still in their mouths. However, after two quarters of play and a 35-0 lead, it was clear that Coach Ron Johnson and his troops were ready to wash out the taste of 2020. When it was all said and done, Crestview finally managed to find the endzone in the second half, but it was too little too late as Salem left Crestview with a 38-13 win.
After a rough opening drive, the Quakers started to get into rhythm and opened the scoring when Jack Johnson found Brock Young in the front, left corner of the endzone for a 14-yard touchdown. Blaize Exline got in on the action later in the first quarter when he found paydirt and scored on a 24-yard run around the right side to push the lead to 14-0 for Salem. Exline stayed heavily involved as the second quarter went down as he powered in from the 1-yard line for another rushing touchdown and flew into the endzone on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Johnson. Those touchdowns put Salem up 28-0 in the second quarter and a 38-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Austin Sinkovich (in which Sinkovich went up and over the defensive back to make the catch) pushed the Quaker lead to 35-0. At the half, Johnson went to the locker room having already cleared 200 yards passing. On the opposite sideline, Crestview quarterback Anthony Cusick was held to just 13 passing yards in the opening half.
In the second half, Crestview came out of the locker room more focused and finally started to get into rhythm offensively and defensively. Cusick managed to score Crestview’s first points of the 2021 season when he found Roclen Bettura and Jack Yerkey for passing touchdowns. Defensively, Crestview managed to hold Salem to a field goal in the second half.
With the loss, Crestview fell to 0-1 to open their season and will look for their first win next week when they travel to Southern Local (7:00 PM). As for the Quakers, they open the season 1-0 and will look to continue building momentum when they host Beaver Local (7:00 PM) next week for their home opener. WRMU Player of the Game honors went to Salem’s Jack Johnson for a tremendous performance in which he threw for a trio of touchdowns and 257 yards.