The Salinas High football team rolled into the Central Coast Section Division I semifinals with a 49-0 pasting of Fremont on Friday night in its playoff opener.
The second-seeded Cowboys (7-4) will host Monterey Bay League Gabilan rival and No. 6 seed Hollister (6-5) next week.
Salinas jumped on No. 7 Fremont (8-3) early when Jordan Torres scooped up a fumble on the Firebirds’ first possession and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown.
Torres would score later in the first quarter on a 1-yard run to make it 14-0. The Cowboys closed out the half with two more touchdowns to hold a 28-0 lead.
In the second quarter following an Elijah Kirkland interception, the Cowboys responded with a 14-play, six-minute drive capped off by an Everett Ball 3-yard run.
The final score was set up by a Jackson Duda fumble recovery and return to the Fremont 15-yard line. Three plays later, quarterback Ruben Flores found Duda in the end zone from 13 yard out.
In the second half, Ball had a 6-yard touchdown run, Torres had a 4-yard scoring run and Isaac Orozco broke off a 48-yard scoring jaunt.
Ball led the Cowboys in rushing with 225 yards on 24 carries. Torres finished with 111 yards on 11 carries and also had an interception, Kirkland had 61 rushing yards and Flores finished 3-for-6 for 31 yards.
In addition to the four turnovers, the Salinas defense held Fremont’s top running back Keenan Smith to 63 yards on 12 carries. Fremont only mustered 139 yards of offense for the game.