Salem — In last years edition of the Battle of South Salem, Sprague led 20-0 on the Saxons at the half, but South Salem stormed back with 21 unanswered to shock the Olys 21-20 at home last season. This year, a script of similar flow and nature was written, with the Saxons once again finding a way to work their second half magic against their rivals to the south.
Sprague Jumps Out In Front Of The Saxons, Lead At Halftime
The Olys and Saxons traded three and outs for the first four drives of this game, with Sprague finally bringing some excitement to a boring match up to that point. Late in the first quarter, Elias Polanski connected with Carson Vankempen on a deep route over the middle, with Vankempen taking it to the house and giving Sprague a 6-0 lead after the extra point was blocked by the Saxons.
After a South Salem punt, the Olys threw an interception to open the second quarter deep in their territory. However, the Saxons returned a favor with a fumble recovery for the Olys, trading turnovers on back to back plays. Later on, Polanski found himself on the receiving end of a diving touchdown reception, putting Sprague up 12-0 after the two point conversion failed. The Saxons would respond on the next drive, driving down into Sprague territory and capping it with a Ryan Rickman TD run, cutting it to 12-7 Sprague.
Sprague responded to the Rickman TD with a drive that was headlined by a double reverse pass for a long Olys gain into Saxon territory. Wiley Roberts eventually punched it in at the goaline for the Sprague TD, making it 18-7 entering the half.
South Salem Puts On A Second Half Rout
Receiving the opening kick to open the second half, Zach Webster put the Saxons in great field position to begin their comeback. Just like clockwork, Rickman punched in a Saxons TD that cut it to 18-14 Olys in front.
After a Sprague punt, Rickman made it a hat trick with a 49 yard touchdown run, putting South Salem out front 21-18 late in the third quarter. With around four minutes left in the game, Sprague’s attempt to take the lead fell on a turnover on downs, with the Olys attempting a QB option on 4th and 3. Fresh off the momentum, Rickman made it four rushing touchdowns and Mikah Posey’s last minute INT sealed a 28-16 Saxons rivalry win over Sprague.
Post Game With Running Rickman, Picking Posey, and A Guy Named Zach Case
Seconds after breaking an emotional huddle, I tracked down Ryan Rickman, Mikah Posey, and Zach Case to talk about the rivalry win, the second half turnaround, and taking a shot at West Salem in the MVC.
Rickman put a bow on the match, “It feels amazing, just being able to comeback and grow up as a team in the second half. We just worried about ourselves and not the speed of the game, and what they’re doing. We just took care of ourselves and took care of business.”
Rickman on the second half adjustments, “The adjustments were making the game more of a team. In the first half we were getting those personal fouls and getting down on ourselves, and it cost us. If we had played like this in the first half, it wouldn’t have been as close as it was.”
Posey on the defensive adjustments, “We had to change up our corners and safeties on defense. I moved to safety and Jayven (Carter) also moved there, and we took care of the problems. We watched film and knew the routes, we just performed well.”
Case on tracking down West Salem, “They’re a tough game. We’re just going to build off of this, we go to Bend next week so go get that dub and move to 3-2 and work from there. Take it week by week and we’ll get to West when we get to them.”
South Salem heads over the pass to face Bend, Sprague travels to Tigard, who knocked off #1 Lake Oswego 31-7 at home on Friday