Fourth quarter scoring frenzy lifts Quakers over Warriors 29-28

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Brandon Gooding brings down Salem quarterback Jackson Johnson behind the line of scrimmage.

By Carol McIntire


Salem scored 23 points in the fourth quarter, 14 of them in less than three minutes, to nip Carrollton 29-28 in an Eastern Buckeye Conference matchup Friday night at Sebo Stadium in Salem.

Coach Jim Tsilimos’ Warriors scored with 5:37 remaining in the game to go up 28-24 when quarterback Luke Warner rambled up the middle from 10 yards out for a score. Warner then added the two-point conversion and the future looked bright for the unbeaten Warriors.

The Quakers had other things in mind.

“We seemed to score too quick to give them the ball,” Tsilimos said following the game. “We didn’t get stops when we had to. To their credit, they went down and put two scores in.”

It took Salem only two minutes and seven plays to cut the deficit to 28-21. Sophomore quarterback Jackson Johnson, son of Quaker Coach Ron Johnson, found Dillon Monray in the end zone for a 24-yard score with 3:38 on the clock.  The kick was good.

Salem then perfectly executed an onside kick, which set them up at midfield for what proved to be the winning touchdown. The Quakers’ drive was aided on the first play by a 15-yard Warrior penalty for comments made on the sideline. The drive stalled on the Carrollton 20-yard line when the defense forced a fourth down play. Johnson dropped back to pass, was forced to pull the ball down and run as Carrollton pass rushers broke through the offensive line. Johnson found a lane up the left sideline and ran to the 4-yard line to set up the go-ahead score.

On the next play, Johnson found Jax Booth over the middle for the touchdown. Johnson added the two-point conversion for a 29-28 lead.

With two minutes and thirty-two seconds remaining on the game clock, the Warriors began a drive from their own 39-yard line. In just six plays Warner led the team to the Quaker 11-yard line. A loss on the first play and two incomplete passes set up the Warriors with a chance to kick the winning field goal with 31 ticks left on the clock.

Senior kicker Oscar Cazares, filling in for injured kicker Jarod Becknell, lined up and booted the ball through the uprights for what looked like the winning score.

As one official was signaling the kick was good, a second official was calling off the play. Coach Johnson called a time out just prior to the snap and forced a second kick, which wobbled wide of the left upright.

“Oscar’s upset with himself right now, but he came in and did a real nice job for us. He’s a competitor,” Tsilimos said.  “We’re not going to quit, we’ll be back next week, but it’s a tough one right now.”

For the third straight week, the Warrior offense showed they can put a lot of points on the board, led by sophomore Chase Oehlstrom, who rushed for a game-high 188 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries, including one run of 78 yards. Carrollton won the battle on the ground, outrushing the Quakers 257-167, but fell behind in the air attack 96-282 yards and in total yards 353-449.

The Warriors drew first blood after Salem fumbled the opening kickoff and Nick Martin recovered on the CHS 30-yard line. Six plays later, Warner found junior Austin Haney open over the middle. Haney caught the ball and backed into the end zone for the score. Cazares added the extra point to put the visitors up 7-0 with 8:57 remaining in the first quarter.

Salem added a score midway through the second period when Johnson connected with Blaize Exline for a 58-yard catch and run. The kick was no good.

Salem recovered a Carrollton fumble late in the period and drove to the CHS 3-yard line. Salem made four attempts at the goal line but was met by Warrior defenders each time. Carrollton took over on the 3-yard line with 23 seconds left.

The defense mounted another goal line stand in the third period, denying the hosts a touchdown on four plays inside the 5-yard line with just less than four minutes remaining on the clock.

“Those were huge stops,” Tsilimos said. “They played tremendous on those two goal line stands. They played a lot of snaps. Maybe that was it,” referring to why the team wasn’t able to stop the Quaker offense late in the game. 

Following the goal line stand, Warner took control of the ball on his own 3-yard-line, led the team down the field and capped off the drive with an eight-yard quarterback keeper up the middle. Cazares added the kick for a 14-6 lead.

Johnson scored on the Quaker’s next series on a two-yard run to open the third period. On the third two-point conversion attempt, due to penalties, Johnson tied the game at 14-14.

Brandon Gooding returned a short Salem kick off to the CHS 42-yard line to begin the next drive. Timberlake caught an 8-yard pass from Warner; Oehlstrom ripped off 12 yards on the next play and then broke loose for a 38-yard score. Cazares’ kick was blocked.

Carrollton opted for an onside kick, which was recovered by senior Austin Haney at midfield. Two minutes and five plays later, Warner scampered up the middle for a 10-yard score. He added the two-point conversion that gave the Warriors the 28-14 lead.

CHS 7-0-6-15–28

SHS 0-6-0-23–29

CHS —Haney 17-yd pass from Warner, 8:57 (Oscar Cazares kick)

SHS — Exline, 58-yd. pass from Johnson, 7:47 2nd (Kick failed)

CHS —Warner 8-yd. run, 2:11 3rd (Oscar Cazares kick)

SHS — Johnson 2-yd. run, 9:06 4th (Johnson run)

CHS —Oehlstrom 38-yd. run, 7:36 4th (Kick blocked)

CHS —Warner 10-yd. run, 5:37 4th (Warner run)

SHS — Monroy 24-yd. pass from Johnson, 3:38 4th (Kick good)

SHS – Booth, 4-yd. pass from Johnson, 2:32 4th (Johnson run)

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