It was the season opener for the Salem Spartans and head coach Stephen Magenbauer, as they looked for their ninth consecutive season opening win over the Lord Botetourt Cavaliers. But fresh off a win over James River, Tater Benson's boys were up for the challenge, at least for awhile.
The Cavaliers donned some new duds for their home opener, on a white out night in Daleville. Both teams worked to establish the run early, but the defense was too much as both squads picked up early sacks on third downs.
But it was the special teams that would strike first. Salem's Chad Fisher takes the LB punt weaving through the defenders down the far side, all the way past the pylon mid-way through the first half to score first 7-0 Spartans.
After a Cavalier three-and-out, the Spartans coughed the ball up and Botetourt's Taylor Landes recovered, sparking a turn in momentum. Chris Thompson nailed off some big runs leading them into the red zone and let the big bruiser Thomas Kennedy pound it in. It was 7-6 Spartans after the missed P-A-T.
Salem tried to respond, but Matt Hill's pass gets picked off by Alex Hampton, who returns it for 30 yards. Thompson worked the ball again on the ground late in the half, and the Cavs get on top 13-7.
Salem didn't take long to respond with Daniels' long 37 yard run weaving through the crowd. On the next play, Hill connects up top with Mike Edwards to put Salem up at the half 14-7.
Salem played stifling defense to lead off the second half and started pounding the rock on the legs of freshman tailback Isaiah Harris.
The Senior Daniels finished off the Spartans' first drive with a 6-yard score, 22-13 Salem halfway through the third.
Botetourt got the ball on Salem's side of the field, but Daniels came in untouched off the corner to sack Will Cline for a 12-yard loss.
The Spartans then ran some clock with senior Marty Bishop who picked up some big chunks of yards leading to Salem's final touchdown. Salem gets to 1-0 with the 29-13 win.