It's time now for a trip up Interstate 81 to Christiansburg where the homestanding Blue Demons welcomed the Salem Spartans. The Blue Demons had bludgeoned Cave Spring and Hidden Valley the past two weeks thanks to dominating performances by both the offensive and defensive lines.
And Tim Cromer's team has been a thorn in the side of Salem through most of the Stephen Magenbauer era as head coach.
The Blue Demons came into this match-up as the hot team and winners of four straight, but it's always a battle against Salem who's going to bring their physicality every time. The Spartans may have a 3-2 record, but don't let that fool you. Their losses came to an undefeated Northside team and their other loss was by one point to Byrd. Let's take you out to the action to see how this one played out.
A cool Fall night in Christiansburg set the stage for the River Ridge District showdown. While the Blue Demons had a 4-game win-streak on the line, the Spartans were fighting to stay above 500. After a bye week, Salem came out running hard on fresh legs. Coleman Fox caps-off their opening drive with the 7 yard TD, and the Spartans are up 6- nothing after a missed extra point. Right after though, Christiansburg responds. Simeon Brown patiently follows his blocks and runs it in for the 30 yard score. Blue Demons up 7-6. Salem goes to Fox again on their next possession and again it pays off. Weaving through traffic, Fox scores the 35 yard touchdown to give Salem the 13-7 lead through the first quarter. Back and forth we go in the second. Now Christiansburg's Kory Hendricks finds the endzone. His 13-yard score put the Blue Demons out front by one, but Salem puts an end to the lead changes for good less than 3 minutes later. After converting a huge 4th and 8, Fox scores for Salem again, this time from 15 yards out. 19-14 Spartans. He finished with 4 TDs in the game.
Then comes the big defensive play they were looking for. Devante Payne picks-off Chris Jackson's pass and makes the incredible return, breaking all kinds of tackles and somehow turns it into a 55-yard pick 6. Salem takes the 26-14 lead into the locker room.
In the third, Salem gets the passing game going. Austin Coulling hits Isaiah Parker over the middle. He cuts it back outside and turns it into a 50 yard TD to give Salem a 19-point lead. The Spartans score 34 unanswered and shut-out Christiansburg in the second half to win it 47-14.
Salem improves to 4-2, snapping the Blue Demon's 4-game win streak.