by Bobby Stapleton
The Greyhounds welcomed the Panthers from Yellville-Summit on September 8 and sent the visitors home with their second loss, while Salem stayed undefeated in the young season.
Salem came out hot on defense, holding Yellville to a three and out first series, getting the ball on their own 35. The ‘Hounds picked up yards from Eli Hale, then Jordan Turner hit for back to back runs for 16 yards and a new set of downs. Salem stalled out and had to punt the ball back to Yellville.
The Panthers covered 53 yards in five plays then converted the two-point conversion to go up 8-0 with 6:21 left in the first.
Salem only needed nine plays to cover 50 yards to tie the game when Turner crashed in for a yard out then converted the two-point conversion to make it 8-all with 3:30 left in the first frame.
The Panthers came storming back, marching downfield but Logan Jewell picked off a Tyler Ramey pass at midfield and returned it to the 32 yard line. Four plays later, Turner put Salem up 14-8 with an eight yard romp. Paul Goetzmann split the uprights to make it a 15-8 Greyhound advantage with less than a half a minute left in the first.
Yellville wasted no time in swinging the momentum back in their favor. The Panthers put together a three play 67 yard scoring drive capped by a 56 yard touchdown pass just two plays into the second quarter. After a two point conversion, Yellville held a 16-15 lead.
Salem didn’t keep the ball long and punted it back to Yellville who had a first and ten from the Salem 41, when Ethan Davis crashed through the line for a sack that pushed the Panthers into a second and 19. Yellville didn’t recover and were forced to punt, but the Panthers punt team came up with a score. Salem mishandled the ball and were forced to run the ball out of the endzone but Yellville made the tackle for the safety, pushing their lead to 18-13.
Salem came out firing in the second half, taking the ball and marching downfield and used a 21 yard TD run by Turner to cap a six play drive to retake the lead. Goetzmann hit his second PAT to up the ‘Hounds up 22-18.
Yellville marched downfield to try and retake the lead but Ian King picked off a pass in the endzone to thwart the Panthers. After Salem stalled and turned the ball back over on downs, Yellville was once again stymied when King picked off his second pass three plays later.
Yellville was feeling the crushing effect of the defense of Salem when their next possession ended on a fumble and Tommy Perkins recovered it for Salem.
Yellville found themselves with the ball with 1:26 left in the game and starting marching downfield trying to retake the lead.
After getting out to their own 42 and less than 30 seconds left, the Panthers went to the air once again but King picked off his third interception on the night, preserving the Salem lead and the Greyhounds claimed the win to stay undefeated.
Pictured: Greyhound QB Harrison Henley fires on the run against Yellville-Summit. Photo/stapletonshots.com