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Clarke Central chops Seminoles
The Salem Seminoles fell to 1-3 in the region with a loss to Clarke Central Friday night. - photo by Darrell Everidge

The Clarke Central Gladiators chopped the Salem Seminoles 33-15 Friday night at home.

Salem led early, but the Gladiators rallied back in the second half to clinch their fourth win of the season.

The loss drops the Seminoles to 2-4 on the year with a 1-3 mark in region play.

The Seminoles took an early first-quarter lead on a 57-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Licash Lackey completed to Kanome Macintosh. 

In the second quarter, the Seminoles extended their lead to 9-0 on a 32-yard field goal by Andrew Willis.

Clarke Central cut the lead to 9-7 on a 4-yard touchdown run by Jaqua Daniels, and the Gladiators looked poised to clinch the lead with a field goal just before halftime before Salem jumped offsides on a 4th-and-5 inside the redzone to give Clarke Central a shot at a touchdown.

The Gladiators took advantage of the mistake, scoring two plays later on a 2-yard touchdown run from Daniels to take a 13-7 lead into the break.

Clarke Central flew out of the gate in the second half, pushing its lead to 20-9 lead on its first possession of the third quarter. The score came on a 7-yard touchdown run by Cameron Johnson. 

The Seminoles went 3-and-out on their next possession and Clarke Central struck again. The Gladiators converted a successful 13-yard run by Daniels on 4th-and-3 lead for a first down before finding the endzone on a 10-yard Johnson touchdown run. The score grew the Gladiators’ advantage to 27-9.

The Gladiators capped off their scoring in the fourth quarter, reaching the endzone for the fifth time of the night on a touchdown run from DeAnthony Vereen for a 33-9 lead.

Despite the lopsided score, the Seminoles did not give in. On their next possession, the Seminoles cut the lead to 33-15 on a touchdown run by Tyriano Greene. The touchdown was initially set up by Greene’s 24 yard run on the previous play.

Lackey finished the game with 130 yards passing on nine pass completions out of 16 attempts for the Seminoles. 

For the Gladiators, Johnson completed 12-out of-19 passes for 130 passing yards and two rushing touchdowns.

The Seminoles return to action next week on the road against Gainesville.

Salem is 0-3 all-time against Gainesville, falling to the Red Elephants 49-6 a season ago.

Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Bobby Gruhn Field.