Football coaches always stress balance on offense, and that is exactly what Salesianum displayed on Saturday night.
The Sals mixed equal doses of running and passing in the first half and rolled to a 45-7 victory over Glen Mills (Pa.) at Baynard Stadium.
Salesianum, ranked second in Division I, rushed for 105 yards and passed for 105 before halftime in improving to 4-0. The game quickly became lopsided in the third quarter, and the Sals didn’t attempt a pass in the second half. Glen Mills, a residential school for court-referred young men, dropped to 2-3.
“We’ve got some guys who can catch the ball, and coach [Bill] DiNardo does what works,” said Sallies quarterback Matt Sgro, who completed 6 of 12 throws. “That’s what we’re going to do to if it’s working. We like to balance it out, whatever works, get the defense thinking.”
Sallies showed its balance on the first drive, as Sgro threw a 38-yard pass to Brian O’Neill and ran 21 yards on a bootleg to highlight a 63-yard march. Troy Reeder’s 2-yard run made it 7-0 with 7:59 left in the first quarter.
A great Glen Mills punt forced the Sals to start their second drive from their own 3. They covered 97 yards in just six plays, helped by 20 yards in penalties against the Bulls. Daulton Gregory ripped off a 20-yard run, Sgro threw a 14-yard pass to Chad Harbaugh and Reeder broke loose for a 16-yard gain. Then Sgro lofted a 13-yard pass to O’Neill, who twirled to keep his feet inbounds and make it 14-0 on the second play of the second quarter.
The teams traded punts, with Sallies taking over at its own 36 with 1:22 left in the half. Sgro’s 28-yard pass to Tyler Marroni got the Sals in field-goal range, and Sean Smith delivered with a 37-yard kick that pushed their lead to 17-0.
O’Neill forced a Glen Mills fumble on the first play of the second half, and Reeder recovered at the Bulls 14. Two plays later, Gregory punched it in from the 2 for a 24-0 cushion.
The Sals racked up 194 yards on the ground in the second half, with Evander Blue adding touchdown runs of 5 and 58 yards and Michael Sanzone scoring on a 5-yard burst.
“In the first half, our passing game really was alive and really got us some big plays,” DiNardo said. “That takes a lot of pressure off the running game. Then in the second half, we got that score on them and then we were able to pound the ball.”
Blue led the Sals with 113 yards on nine carries. Sanzone added 66 yards, Reeder rushed for 58 and Gregory had 41. Salesianum’s defense held the Bulls to 111 total yards.