It was a rough way to end the season Friday night as the Salem Seminoles lost a hard-fought road game to the Red Devils of Loganville by a score of 56-34.
Salem drew first blood off a 6-yard run by Ivonte Patterson, but missed its point after try. Loganville answered right back with an 18-yard run by Braxton Beck to take the lead 7-0.
Salem wasn’t able to accomplish anything on the ensuing drive and was forced to punt the ball back to the Red Devils. Loganville went right for the end zone on its first play of the drive with a halfback pass by Bernard Merriweather to Tony White, but White was taken down at the 1-yard line. On the very next play, Merriweather pushed the ball across the end zone for the score.
Neither team was able to mount a drive after the score by White. Salem went three-and-out, while Loganville threw an interception.
Salem capitalized on the turnover and went 64 yard on nine plays capped off by an Ahmad Mitchell 10-yard run. Salem successfully converted a 2-point conversion to tie the game.
On the ensuing drive, Loganville was unable to get past the Seminole 44 and were forced to punt. But after the punt, Salem took the ball at its own 20, drove down and eventually fumbled at its own 40-yard line. The ball was recovered by Loganville’s Ben Smith, who took it all the way to the end zone to take the lead 21-14 with 1:06 left before the half.
Right out of the gate after halftime, Loganville drove down the field with an eight-play, 58-yard drive capped off by Merriweather’s 5-yard run. Salem tried to answer with a drive of its own but was stopped in its tracks when Loganville’s Robert Stanfield recovered a Salem fumble at the Seminoles’ 45.
Once again, Loganville wasted no time taking a shot at the end zone on its first play. Backup quarterback Josh Laughlin found Taylor Boss at the Seminole 11-yard line and three plays later, Merriweather found the end zone for his third score of the night.
Salem went three and out on its ensuing drive and was forced to punt back to the Devils once again. Loganville started slow and eventually were forced to punt, but a fumble by the Salem return man was recovered at by Loganville quarterback Royce Harrison at the Salem 38-yard line. The very next play, Merriweather went over 1,000 yards for the season with a 38-yard touchdown, his fourth of the night.
On the next kickoff, Seminole quarterback Damion Gordon went 98 yards for the score. Loganville answered right back, with a 40 yard, three play drive that saw Red Devil junior running back score his first touchdown of the night.
After the Loganville touchdown, Salem’s offense finally woke up and went 83 yards in five plays to cut the deficit to 21. Salem successfully executed an onside kick and capitalized on it two plays later with a touchdown by Antone Leonard.
Loganville capped off the scoring for both teams with a score by Ethan Rutlidge to make the final score 56-34.
“It was a very emotional game and I was very proud of our kids,” Loganville coach Eric Godfree said. “The offense moved the ball up and down the field; defense made stops when they needed to make stops and we came out with another great victory and a great way to end our season.”
“I needed 145 yards coming into the game, and I honestly didn’t think I was going to get it,” Merriweather said, “but I got it on my last career run.”
Loganville finishes the season 4-6 and will not make an appearance in the playoffs. Salem finishes the season 2-8 and also will not make a playoff appearance.