SALEM This was not the way the Salem football team wanted to return to Reilly Stadium.
Holding their 2013 Homecoming after a rocky three-game road trip, the Quakers battled a 20-point deficit in the first quarter on Friday, but were outmatched again, this time by Minerva. The Lions dropped the Quakers 63-39, giving Salem their fourth straight loss, first at home, of the season.
"Salem's kids played really hard," Minerva coach Mike Hall said. "He (Coach Ron Johnson) had them ready to play."
The Quakers (2-4, 0-3) were in the same predicament as the week before. Salem trailed 20-0 at the end of the first quarter, due in large part to the long rushes for Lions touchdowns and many incompletions from sophomore quarterback Matt Weingart.
Weingart cooled down in the second quarter and connected with Mike Popa but found trouble again as Weingart had two interceptions.
The Quakers relied largely on wide receiver Marcus Crittenden and running back Haedan Panezott. Crittenden totalled 139 yards on seven catches and a touchdown as well as four rushes for 15 yards. Panezott rushed for 87 yards in 17 carries, and had six catches for 35 yards.
Salem coach Ron Johnson was disappointed as his team continues on work.
"We need to work on everything," Johnson said. "We need to make sure we focus on everything and anything."
The Lions (4-2, 2-1) may not have been as quick to scoring as on the Quakers as Alliance was the previous week, but a 71-yard run for a touchdown by senior running back Cody Parrish began a scoring frenzy that was further intensified by junior tight end Billy Eyer, senior running back Tommy Gillata, and junior running back Dalton Hartshorn.
The team performed strong despite some of the players battling from possible food poisoning earlier in the week.
"We didn't know if it was the heat. The doctors thought it was food poisoning," Hall said. "Salem was really strong though, I give Coach Johnson's kids credit."
Parrish, who ran for 161 yards in 17 carries and had a catch for 13 yards, didn't expect the team to amass 63 points.
"I didn't think we would get that," Parrish said. "We hoped for a tough game, and it was a tough game."
Hall also had admirations for the senior running back.
"He's got good vision," Hall said. "He sees lanes really well, great speed, very heady. He's one of our leaders. When you're not playing really well, you need someone to really step up, and he stepped up."
Johnson looks to go back to the drawing board this weekend after this tough loss.
"Minerva is a very good football team," Johnson said. "They showed that this evening, and they showed us how much work we have to do."
In a combined effort at quarterback, Josey Riley went 3-for-3 with 140 yards while Storm Angione hit one pass for 34 yards.
Hartshorn led in receiving for the Lions with 68 yards in his one catch, and was second for the Lions in rushing, going 44 yards in 12 carries.
Weingart's early mistakes hurt him, but he still had a good night on passes, going 24-for-44 and 321 yards in passing.
In addition for the Quakers, Panezott led for the Quakers in rushing, going 87 yards in 17 rushes, while Crittenden went 139 yards in seven catches.
NBC action continues next Friday as Salem travels to Marlington while Minerva hosts Louisville.
M Cody Parrish 71 run (Tyler Stewart kick)
M Cody Parrish 13 pass from Josey Riley (Tyler Stewart kick)
M Billy Eyer 2 run (Kick failed)
S Mike Popa 45 pass from Matthew Weingart (Caleb Quinn kick)
M Tommy Gillata 17 run (Tyler Stewart kick)
M Dalton Hartshorn 11 run (Tyler Stewart kick)
S Haedan Panezott 7 run (Caleb Quinn kick)
S Haedan Panezott 2 run (Kick failed)
S Max Wolfgang 2 pass from Matthew Weingart (Mike Popa kick)
M Cody Parrish 31 run (Tyler Stewart kick)
M Dalton Hartshorn 68 pass from Josey Riley (Tyler Stewart kick)
S Marcus Crittenden 15 pass from Matthew Weingart (Kick failed)
M Cody Parrish 1 run (Tyler Stewart kick)
M Adam Gross 34 pass from Storm Angione (Billy Eyer conversion pass from Storm Angione)
S Marcus Crittenden 38 pass from Matthew Weingart (Conversion faied)
First downs 1719
Total Yards 441402
RUSHING-Minerva, Cody Parrish 17-161, Dalton Hartshorn 12-44, Tommy Gliatta 3-19, Coy Mullins 3-16, Josey Riley 4-14, Billy Eyer 5-9, Storm Angione 1-4, Hunter Long 3-1; Salem, Haedan Panezott 17-87, Marcus Crittenden 4-15.
PASSING-Minerva, Josey Riley 3-3-140-0, Storm Angione 1-1-34-0; Salem, Matthew Weingart 24-44-321-2
RECEIVING-Minerva, Dalton Hartshorn 1-69, Chase Cappelli 1-59, Adam Gross 1-34, Cody Parrish 1-13, Ruger Miller 1-51, Kyler Gulling 1-20; Salem, Marcus Crittenden 7-139, Mike Popa 7-111, Haedan Panezott 6-35, Dan Rumsey 2-24, Blake Hochedal 1-13.
INTERCEPTIONS- Minerva, Ruger Miller, Kyle Gulling.
-Megan Lehwald was crowned as the 2013 Homecoming Queen.
-Kicker Caleb Quinn left the game after the 2nd quarter with a broken collar bone. Sophomore wide receiver Mike Popa filled in at kicker afterwards, and quarterback Matthew Weingart also had two punts for 61 yards.
-This is the second straight week the Quakers have given up over 60 points.