SALEM — Make that two straight air-tight weeks for the once-maligned, suddenly ferocious Salem High defense.
The Blue Devils first-teamers, tormented for 54 points by Nashua North two weeks ago, allowed Exeter just 89 first-half yards and zero points from scrimmage over three quarters to decimate the Blue Hawks, 42-13, here before a sparse, wind-blown gathering of about 200 here at Grant Field.
"We gave up all those points against North and we weren't happy about that," said senior Max Jacques. "We realized if we don't turn it around, it's going to end up biting us on the butt. We had to turn it on. We know we can play defense now."
All of New Hampshire knows that Jacques and his junior defense-shredding backfield mate Jerickson Fedrick can put points up on the board in bunches.
Each had a pair of TD runs in a 35-7 first half barrage.
Fedrick ripped off sprints of 50 and 74 yards around right end for his two scores, amassing 148 yards total in his 10 tries. Jacques, who toted the football 11 times for 103 yards, dashed 18 and 24 yards for his TDs, leaving a handful of thwarted tacklers in his wake.
"He makes a big run, and I'm trying to do the same thing," said Fedrick. "And at the end, we have something to talk about afterward."
The Salem starters didn't need the final gun to chat about this one. When Matt Cannone (2 for 2, 32 yards passing) bulled in for his 2-yard score, just a couple minutes into the third quarter, the Salem JVs were summoned.
Now 4-1 in Division 1 play and 5-2 overall, Salem can pretty much lock up a playoff berth on Friday night but it won't come easily. The Devils must travel to 3-2 Nashua South.
Beyond the box score
You'll barely notice Mike Lorenz's name in the game recap. The Salem senior had but one catch for 21 yards in the blowout win over Exeter yesterday. Still, the 6-foot-3, 180-pounder found a way to deliver a huge afternoon with a pair of interceptions that set up Salem's first two TDs. In addition, Lorenz took advantage of the 40 mph winds with his live leg, booting three punts (75, 58 and 40 yards) for a 57.7 yard average.
Salem 42, Exeter 13
Exeter (1-6): 0 7 0 6 — 13
Salem (5-2):14 21 7 0 — 42
S — Jared Matthews 11 pass from Matt Cannone (Chris Saulnier kick) 6:33
S — Max Jacques 18 run (Saulnier kick) 1:28
S — Jerickson Fedrick 50 run (Saulnier kick) 8:00
E — Colby Swane 86 kick return (Brian Clark kick) 7:46
S — Fedrick 74 run (Saulnier kick) 7:28
S — Jacques 24 run (Saulnier kick) 1:24
S — Cannone 2 run (Saulnier kick) 8:51
E — Tyler Grant 70 run (kick wide) 10:00
RUSHING: S — Max Jacques 11-103, Jerickson Fedrick 10-148, Matt Cannone 2-9, Micah Dion 1-2, Abner Rodriguez 3-(-1), Brady Alicea 2-4, Anthony Adaschick 1-(-3), Rasheed Adigun 1-0; E — John Abizaid 12-29, Jon Spivey 10-28, Tyler Grant 1-70
PASSING: S — Matt Cannone 2-2-0, 32; E — Jamieson Tymann 0-2-2, 0; Brian Clark 1-2-0, 24
RECEIVING: S — Jared Matthews 1-11, Mike Lorenz 1-21