EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

October 13, 2012

Memorial holds off Blue Devils

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Salem mustered just 157 yards of total offense, losing 15-12 to Manchester Memorial last night.

The Blue Devils fell to 0-7 and have averaged just 11.4 points per game against five Division 1 opponents as they’ve switched to a spread offense.

“We’ve just got to keep being disciplined and keep fighting and moving forward,” first-year Salem coach Adam Gagne said.

QB switch

During the second half, starting quarterback Ryan Nichols was replaced by Jacob Lakos. Both quarterbacks threw for an interception.

Penalties hurt Salem

Salem’s comeback attempt was hurt by a few penalties in the second half. Salem was called for a defensive offsides on a third-and-4 play that gave Memorial a first down in the third quarter.

That Memorial drive was later extended when Salem was flagged with a roughing-the-passer penalty on a third down play in which the Memorial quarterback had thrown an incomplete pass.

“Penalties hurt us,” Gagne said. “The kids are getting after it. The effort is there. The roughing the passer — the effort is there.”

Salem’s defense

The Blue Devils played well defensively, including receiving a sack from defensive end Patrick Hughes, who dropped Memorial QB Stephen Deane for a 16-yard loss during the first half.

“They got after it,” Gagne said. “They played well. But we came here to win. ... The kids are upset and that means they care, which is a good thing. We’ve got to keep moving forward.”

Carrying the load

Salem running back Jason Martinez carried 21 times for 91 yards.

“He’s continuing to improve,” Gagne said. “This is a new system for him and running the zone and a few different things that we do offensively is completely different than what he’s been doing since he was in the third grade. You can see him gradually getting better day in and day out.”

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