METRO ATHLETIC CONFERENCE Howland punishes Salem for sixth win
The unbeaten Tigers scored on their first five possessions in a 48-14 victory.
By GARY HOUSTEAU
SALEM --The Howland High football team used its punishing ground attack to grind out 426 yards Friday in defeating Salem, 48-14.
The 6-0 Tigers scored touchdowns on their first five possessions of the game, with every yard coming on the ground, to take a 34-14 lead into halftime.
Only a missed field goal from 36 yards out kept the Tigers (6-0, 2-0 in the Metro Athletic Conference) from a perfect first half offensively.
"After the past few weeks, we really stressed it this week that if we got the ball inside the 20, we had to come away with some type of points," Howland coach Dick Angle said. "I think we did it every time except late in the first half on that field goal. So our offense really stepped it up."
Impressive: Howland was just as impressive getting the ball to the red zone as they were at scoring once they got there.
The Tigers, who gained all but four of their 430 yards on the ground, were led on offense by senior Mark Rek who carried 15 times for 140 yards.
Senior Brandon Spence rushed for 72 yards on 16 carries, while senior quarterback Rick Clark added 69 yards on eight carries.
It was Clark, however, who did the most damage on the scoreboard for Howland -- rushing for three scores in the first half.
"We tried every sort of defense possible, but obviously they were just tough to defend," Salem coach Doug Phillips said. "We tried to put as many guys in the box as we could.
"We knew on the option that we wanted the quarterback to run the ball. We had no one that could catch him, but Rek would have run have run right by us."
No stopping them: No matter what strategy Salem (1-5, 0-2) employed, the Tigers were not to be denied, running the ball at will.
"They were determined they weren't going to let us pitch the ball to Rek, and they weren't going to let Rek get outside," Angle said. "But we've got two great fullbacks and a big offensive line, so we feel comfortable running our fullback on first and 10 or third and 7.
"And Ricky Clark did a great job on the option today making good reads and making good decisions. It was probably our best offensive performance to date."
On the night, Howland scored touchdowns on seven of nine possessions. "Obviously, they were big and strong up front and we couldn't stop them," Phillips said. "If you gave me 12 or 13 people, we may have stopped them. We just ran out of solutions."
Salem had 90 yards rushing and were led by Gary Colian with 49 yards and Ken Buckley, who added 40. Sophomore quarterback Landen Heath threw for 98 yards.
Canfield 34, Niles 6: CANFIELD -- Details of this game were not reported.