The Salem Seminoles (2-4) were blown out 49-6 by the Gainesville Red Elephants (5-1) Friday night for their third straight loss. The Red Elephants won their sixth game in a row having only lost to West Forsyth in their season opener.
The Red Elephants wasted no time in asserting their dominance early in the game as they scored 28 points in the first quarter alone. Sophomore receiver Rodney Lackey started off the Red Elephants on a 26-point first quarter rout with just 9:58 left in the first.
The Seminoles defense seemed to have lost their bearings from the jump. This was only compounded as the Red Elephants found the end zone yet again thanks to sophomore running back Michael Byrd's six-yard goal line rush with 5:04 left in the first quarter.
Playing just as uncertain as the defense, the Seminoles offense threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Red Elephant junior linebacker Brenquez Dukes.
The second quarter pitted an already rattled Seminoles against an increasingly confident Red Elephants squad that had come out hot from the opening kick. Gainesville freshman receiver Mesiah Dorsey and sophomore Rodney Lackey both found the end zone before the first half was over.
Things only got worse for the Seminoles in the second half as Gainesville continued to build on their already insurmountable lead. The Red Elephants continued to batter the discombobulated Seminoles as they scored two more touchdowns in the early minutes of the fourth.
Fighting down field in the closing seconds of the game, the Seminoles were able to nix a shutout as they scored their only points of the game on their final drive of the night with just 5.5 seconds remaining.
"We gotta improve on everything," said Salem coach John Starr. "We didn't do anything particularly well tonight. We definitely have to improve on everything."
With a bye week coming up, the Seminoles will have plenty of time to recover from tonight's loss before they face Apalachee Oct.26.