Second-ranked Salisbury welcomed the return of his decorated quarterback Austin Francis for the first time this football season, but in a limited different role Friday, and the Class 1 Panthers shutout Lewis & Clark Conference rival Slater winning 35-0 on the road.
The victory by Salisbury (6-0, 2-0 LCC) sets up what has been a highly anticipated showdown expressed by several football enthusiasts when the Panthers make about a 15-mile journey east to play at No. 8 state-ranked Westran of Huntsville on Oct. 5. However, the Hornets (5-1, 1-1) were upset by Marceline by a 16-13 score last Friday.
“This is our annual matchup in which it doesn’t take a whole lot to motivate our kids to prepare to play Westran. It’s always a big rivalry game between us, and there is always a lot of talk that goes on,” said Salisbury football coach Stott. “We split games with them last year, losing to them in the playoffs and that really hurt so our kids are determined they have a lot to prove. I’m sure Westran will work hard just as well to prepare for us. We’ll just have to wait and see how things go leading up to Friday.”
In their game with Slater (1-5, 0-2 LCC), the Panthers scored a touchdown in the opening period, led 21-0 by intermission, and would reach the end zone once during each of the final two quarters of play.
“We had some trouble with them early in the game, but after making some adjustments we were successful to control both sides of the football pretty much for most of the game I thought. Defensively we were able to hold them to about 89 total yards so that was good,” said coach Stott. “Slater loaded up the box with eight guys and that forced us into using the passing game a little more than normal. In the second half Austin Wyatt, Jake (Latamondeer) and Daniel (Linneman) all were able to break free for some long gains and that shook things up a little bit.”
NOTE: The full story will appear on Monday, Oct. 1 newspaper.