The Salem Hills football team put on an impressive performance on Friday night en route to a 43-10 victory over the visiting Highland Rams. The unbeaten Skyhawks never trailed in a game that quickly turned into blowout win.
The pregame excitement, consisting of a night dedicated to military veterans and a coin toss performed by Governor Gary Herbert, soon shifted to the Salem Hills sideline as the Skyhawks drove 80 yards to go up 7-0.
The drive was extended on a fake punt and ended when senior quarterback Jarret Elmer found his tackle-breaking tight end Deven Johnson for the touchdown pass. The tone had been set for the rest of the game.
Salem Hills took a 31-10 halftime lead on a balanced attack that featured three rushing touchdowns, one passing touchdown and a field goal.
Elmer gave credit to the Skyhawks rushing game when discussing his team’s first-half performance.
“The running game establishes our passing game,” Elmer said. “It brings everybody together and it gives everybody confidence so we can pass the ball later on.”
The Skyhawks owned the night on both sides of the ball. The Rams lone touchdown came in the first quarter when senior running back Ashton Olevao broke free for 71 yards and the score.
The second half began much the same way the first half had ended. Another defensive stand by the Skyhawks forced the Rams to punt.
One play later Elmer scrambled out of the pocket and threw a perfect pass to his senior wide receiver Reed Johnson. Johnson zigzagged his way up the field, diving for the corner of the endzone to complete a 64-yard touchdown play.
Elmer was pleased with the effect the quick second-half start had on the Skyhawks.
When asked about the 64-yard pitch and catch, he said: “That brought everybody confidence. When we scored that touchdown everybody’s confidence went straight up. We were all trusting each other a lot more in the second half.”
Salem Hills would add a pair of field goals off the foot of Bruce Butler to cap off its dominating 43-10 victory.
When asked how his team can maintain the momentum that it has gained over the first five weeks of the season, Elmer said his team needed to “play Skyhawk football.”
“If we continue to play Skyhawk football, we should have a good turn out to the season,” Elmer said.
Both teams will face region foes next week. Salem Hills will travel to play Spanish Fork, while Highland will return home to play Olympus.
Both games are scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m. on Sept. 18.