Salem clinches opening night win against Amherst; 150th for Magenbauer as head coach

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AMHERST COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) -- Amherst County looking to protect their home turf against the two-time defending champs, the Salem Spartans.

But Salem would jump out in front. Jack Gladden connecting with Luke Owen for 38 yards and the touchdown. The Spartans up 7-nothing after the first quarter.

Then in the second, Gladden swings it out to Viante Tucker, and 70 yards later down the sideline he is gone.

But the Lancers would come up with some answers before the half. Down 13-3, Keshon Turner sells the fake, and Devonte Smith will come down with it on the other end.

Frank Ross would then bust it across, an Amherst takes the 17-13 lead.

And with only seconds to go in the half, Turner hits Wade Wheeler for another score, as the Lancers take the 24-13 lead into the break.

But the tide would turn in the 3rd quarter, scoring 18 unanswered point. Gladden going up top to Tucker, and he's able to bring down the tipped pass for the 44 yard touchdown.

That would put Salem up 31-24, and in the 4th, Luke Owens makes a sensational 31-yard scamper into the end zone. The Spartans score the final 25 points of the contest to win it, 38-24.

"It was really special. We were down two touchdowns at half time. We really had to see what we were made of, and bite the mouthpiece, and just keep on going. Especially on defense, they didn't score one time in the second half. They scored 24 points in the first half. That just showed what we can do when we really play together," Salem player Luke Owen said.

"Coach Magenbauer told us after half time, we have to come out here and deserve it. We knew had to come out here and deserve everything, because we knew that Amherst was going to be a good team this year, as they were last year. So we just had to come out, work hard, and we knew that we could get a win," Salem player Viante Tucker said.

"Obviously, anytime you can win a football game playing against good opponents, it's a compliment to your kids and your coaches. So it feels great to get the first one, and we know we're no where close to where we want to be, but it's a first step," Salem Head Coach Stephen Magenbauer said.

"To play at this level against the level of competition, I was very pleased. I think we just have to correct a few things, and as soon as we get those things corrected, I think we'll be a very dangerous football team," Amherst County Head Coach Cecil Phillips said.

So with the win, the Salem Spartans move to 1-0 on the year. It's their fourteenth consecutive win, going back to last year's state title run. As for Amherst, they'll to right the ship next week, when they host GW Danville.

The Spartan flexing some opening night muscle and Coach Stephen Magenbauer gets his 150th win as Salem's Head Coach.