SALEM OH- Salem vs. West Branch. A rivalry unlike any other in the area and when these two schools meet up, you throw the records out the window and see what happens. Saturday night at Sebo Stadium was no different as 7-2 Salem gave the Warriors all the couldn’t handle, but came up short in the end 43-42 in OT.
Both teams had runs of 21 unanswered points, with Salem holding a 35-27 lead late in the 4th, but a good kick return would set West Branch up in good position for the game-tying score with 31 seconds left.
Salem would score 1st in OT, but West Branch would answer with a score of their own, and punch in the 2-point conversion with a Dru DeShields keeper to win the game.
West Branch had 538 total yards compared to Salem with 462. Dru DeShields had 22 carries for 114 yards and 279 yards passing. He had 2 rushing touchdowns and 3 passing. Steven Marra had 20 carries for 145 yards rushing along with 3 catches for 66 yards. He had 2 rushing touchdowns and 1 receiving in overtime. Nick Wilson had 5 catches for 69 yards with 2 touchdowns. Christian Martig with 7 catches for 90 yards and Jaxon Hendershott with 3 catches for 54 yards, an interception on defense and a 43 yard kick return to set up the score at end of regulation. Mitchell Coffee had 2 big sacks on defense with Thomas Egli recovering a fumble.
Jackson Johnson would once again lead the charge for the Quakers, throwing for three scores and running in another 3. Caden Swiger, Austin Sinkovich, and Blaize Exline hauled in a score apiece.
Ross Davidson was a standout on defense once again forcing two key fumbles and blocking an extra point for the Quakers.
West Branch will host CVCA in the first round of the OHSAA state playoffs. Salem (7-3) will host Peninsula Woodridge next week in the first round of the Division IV playoffs. Kickoff will be at 7:00 from Sebo Stadium.
*Contributed By YSN’s Jarrod Niederhiser