EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

October 13, 2013

Improving Salem falls to Goffstown

GOFFSTOWN — Salem’s quest to spoil Goffstown High School’s Homecoming celebration fell short yesterday, losing in a back-and-forth contest 28-22.

The Blue Devils, who were coming off their first victory since November of 2011 over Manchester West last weekend to snap a 17-game losing streak, came just short of defeating the Grizzlies of Goffstown in a game that saw the two teams exchange turnovers and touchdowns in the second half.

After receiving the game’s opening kickoff, Salem burned almost eight minutes off the clock on their first drive, but they couldn’t get any points on the board after a missed field goal attempt.

The lone points of the first half came after a costly miscue by the Blue Devils. After forcing Goffstown to punt after their first drive, the return team for Salem couldn’t handle the punt, and Goffstown recovered the ball. Just a few plays later, Casey Gervais hit Connor Borque on an 8-yard slant to put the Grizzlies up 7-0 with just over a minute left in the first quarter.

Defense was the name of the game for the rest of the second quarter, as Salem’s Chris Stanton picked off a Gervais pass on the Grizzlies’ second drive, and he then swatted away another pass that could have gone for a touchdown on the next drive to force a punt.

The game went into halftime with the Blue Devils trailing 7-0.

Unlike the first half, the second half was all about offense.

Goffstown opened up the half with a 53-yard drive that ended with Gervais scoring up the middle on a 3-yard QB keeper that expanded the Goffstown lead to 14-0 with 9:27 left in the third quarter.

Salem quickly rebounded with a touchdown drive of its own, with Jason Martinez scoring the first of his three touchdowns. The PAT attempt was blocked, making the score 14-6 in favor of Goffstown.

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