Blue Devils Football and Field Hockey
September 25, 2015
Blue Devils Run through Dover
by Craig Smith
In football there are generally two ways to gain yards: pass or run. But when a team is as loaded at the running back position as Salem there is only one approach needed. How dominant is Salem’s running game? Four Blue Devil running backs scored a touchdown before the start of the second half, a number that doesn’t even do the team justice considering a fifth RB, sophomore Joshua Sibanda (#2), didn’t score but was a key part in getting Salem into the red zone, including a nearly 80-yard run.
Nicholas Shumski (#7) continued to prove that he is one of New Hampshire’s best running backs after running nearly 80 yards for a touchdown off of the opening kickoff. It took him 17 seconds to give the Blue Devils the lead, and that lead would only grow as Shumski even converted the two-point attempt afterwards. After a monstrous sack by junior Benjamin Emerson (#8) Salem would get the ball back and score minutes later after a strong run by RB James LeBlond (#34). Emerson wasn’t done there, however, because he would recover a fumble that would lead to Salem’s third touchdown one play later. Star RB Charles Sibanda (#22) ran more than 20 yards to give them a 22-0 lead. The Blue Devils were living up to their namesake as they terrorized Dover on both ends, creating a phantasm of horror for every player on the visiting team. Emerson continued to make sack after sack, and Jacob Fantasia (#25) made an impressive interception to finish out the second quarter. Even when Dover managed to get near the end zone the Salem defense was crushing. Even on a first down, with only three yards to go to the end zone, Dover fell apart when they faced Salem’s nightmarish defense.
The scoring barrage would only continue with Shumski scoring a second time and junior RB Solomon Ortiz (#24) capping off the first half. With a 36-0 lead going into the second half, Salem’s offense coasted, saving their energy for the defensive end, until LeBlond scored his second touchdown of the night and put an end to any hope Dover had. Salem would win 43-0.
After the game Coach Pike went on to say, “Our running backs have exceptional talent. It’s really comfortable to have so many exceptional players at one position, but the guys blocking for them deserve credit too. Without them our running backs would have nowhere to go.”
Field Hockey Skunks Visiting Nashua North
by Craig Smith
Salem fans are spoiled this year when it comes to talent. Every athletics team seems to be dazzling and succeeding no matter the opponent, and the field hockey team is no exception.
Coming off of a hard-fought 2-1 win over Keene the game before, the Blue Devils looked to add to their win totals by facing off against Nashua North. What would ensue can only be described as domination. Senior captain Brianna Wood (#5) started the scoring train early for Salem with a smooth, unassisted goal. Her aggressiveness was contagious and her teammates pushed offensively, searching for cracks in Nashua North’s defensive line. Their opponent’s defense was savvy and always in good positioning, but ultimately Natalie Azzarito (#10) and Alexandra Sirmaian (#12) proved to be too talented down the stretch. The two took turns assisting one another for goals, showing off their passing and scoring abilities. Azzarito would score once and Sirmaian twice before finally winning 4-0.
The aggressiveness of the Blue Devils didn’t stop offensively. Their defense was just as potent when Nashua North had a chance to hit the ball. Every girl was in the right place at the right time to make the right play. Field hockey fans should be excited for the rest of the season as these athletes prove that they can perform at an elite level.