WINDHAM — In a contest where every yard was earned, Salem did enough to secure a 17-7 Division I South victory over Windham on Saturday.
Salem improves to 5-1 while the gritty Jaguars drop to 2-4.
The Blue Devils’ rushing attack was led by senior Josh Maroun, who finished with 131 tough yards on 27 carries, including 107 in the second half. Salem, which was without Brandon Wall, who suffered a concussion in last week’s win over Pinkerton, gained 238 yards.
“We knew it would be a hard-nosed game,” Maroun said. “It was back and forth and we just needed to stay focused. We had the mindset to do that and were able to succeed today.”
Salem led 7-0 through three quarters thanks to a 1-yard Jacob Brady dive on the Blue Devils’ first drive of the game, which consumed 60 yards.
Salem barely escaped being tied on the final play of the first half when Jaguars junior quarterback Rocky Heres, from his own 46, threw a deep pass that was tipped and caught by Bobby Dicicco at the 3-yard line. The senior tried to twist his body toward the goal line but landed a yard short as time expired.
“You could tell there was some moxie on both sides of the field by both teams,” said Windham first-year head coach Jack Byrne. “We came off a tough loss last week against Londonderry and we talked about digging in today and laying the hammer as much as we could. Our guys did that. It was almost like a rugby match at the line of scrimmage today by both teams. It was a good battle and I’m proud in how our kids played.”
Salem opened the second half by pushing the ball deep into Windham territory before setting for a Brady 22-yard field goal to put the Devils up by 10.
Windham, which finished with 238 yards, then put together a nice drive moments later but missed a field goal try.
Salem got the ball back and began to find some openings in the Jaguars’ defensive front. Behind Maroun, Salem reached the Windham 17. On third down quarterback Kaleb Bates found Riley Mulvey in the right corner of the end zone to make it 17-0 with 4:45 remaining.
A key personal foul penalty by Salem on the ensuing kickoff led to a 30-yard scoring pass from Heres to Dicicco, cutting the deficit back to 10. The score also ended a three-game shutout string by Salem. The Jaguars then recovered the onside kick and drove to the Salem 12, but Heres (13 of 23 for 197 yards) threw an interception to Tom Ahlers at the goal line to nullify the Jaguars’ comeback bid.
“Windham is a very good team,” said Blue Devils head coach Rob Pike. “They played hard and it was exactly what we expected. Defensively we played well and offensively, it was tough, but were still able to get key yards when we needed to. It’s a good team win for us.”