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August 31, 2012
Salem Beats Bayside Handily, Moving to 2-0: Two of the Eastern Region's top-ranked teams squared off on Thursday night in a much anticipated battle that turned out to be lopsided for the second straight season. The reigning Beach District Champion Salem SunDevils scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions and held Bayside scoreless in the first half on their way to whipping the Marlins, 37-7.
Salem went on to out-gain Bayside 349-129, coming up with three takeaways in the process. Leading the offensive charge was four-year starting quarterback and Virginia Tech commit Bucky Hodges, who completed 15 of 24 pass attempts for 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also had a 26-yard run that set up a 21-yard touchdown by teammate Khalib Brown.
Hodges was surgeon-like all night long, spreading the ball around and completing passes to six different receivers. The 6-foot-5 signal caller had a firm control of things, helping Salem convert eight of their first nine third downs they were faced with on the evening.
"That's real big. In practice, we always go over our third downs and two-minute drill," Hodges noted. "All I was worried about was the win. It was a great overall game. As a team, we have a whole lot of potential and we haven't cracked what we can really be."
"Obviously there's always a bunch of hype between Salem and Bayside. It's kind of like a rivalry," Thompson admitted. "We had the energy and got hyped up this whole week, trying to get ready for this. For some reason they can't contain us and we're relentless when we do it."
With the win, Salem improves its record to 2-0 overall and will next take on First Colonial. Bayside, meanwhile, drops to 1-1 and will visit Green Run in its next contest.
Matthew Hatfield has covered Eastern Region Football & Basketball since 2004 for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail email@example.com, and don't forget to listen to him on the VirginiaPreps.com Hour every Saturday at 11AM on ESPN Radio 94.1 plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.