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Demons blank Salem, win region

Christiansburg won its first regional title since 1988, as they blanked previously unbeaten Salem 13-0 in the Region IV, Division 4 championship game Friday night at Salem Stadium. The victory marked the first time that the Blue Demons have beaten the Spartans in Salem.

The Blue Demons would take a 6-0 lead at the 11:55 mark of the second quarter on a 1-yard plunge by Zach Weller. The PAT by Johnathan Galante, who was replacing Patrick Rasnake, was no good. Thus making it 6-0 Rasnake was suspended for the Salem game for violating team rules.

Nick Criner (#76) signals touchdown as Zach Weller (#21) scores the first TD for the Blue Demons. - Photo by Brian Hoffman
Nick Criner (#76) signals touchdown as Zach Weller (#21) scores the first TD for the Blue Demons. - Photo by Brian Hoffman

The Christiansburg touchdown marked the first time that the Blue Demons have scored on Salem in 20 quarters.

The Spartans (11-1) appeared they would light up their side of the scoreboard right before the half. Facing a first-and-goal with just 5 seconds remaining, Christiansburg’s Drew Bibb would tackle Salem’s Adam McGarrell in the backfield as time ran out, thus preventing the Spartans from scoring.

After a scoreless third quarter, Christiansburg would strike again. This time Zach Snell would gallop 78-yards for the touchdown and Galante’s PAT would make it 13-0 midway through the fourth quarter. The Demons would hold the rest of the way, as they stunned Salem 13-0 to win the regional title.

Salem, which tallied 271 yards of total offense, gained 247 yards via airmail. Adam McGarrell completed 16-of-28 passes for 247 yards and was intercepted twice. Salem also lost two fumbles.

Christiansburg, who has just seven yards passing, picked up another 177 on the ground, for a total of 184 yards, Zach Snell led the way with 97 yards and a touchdown.

The last time the Blue Demons won a regional title was way back in 1988 when they defeated Grundy 20-14 in overtime.

Christiansburg (10-3), who has recorded its first-ever 10 win season, heads to Amherst (12-0), a 44-22 winner over Harrisonburg, for the Group AA, Divison 4 state semifinal battle. The game will be played at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday,

The Lancers, who have won four-straight region titles, have been a team that has shown no mercy on their opponents this season.

According to various reports, Amherst is led by Mario Vaughan, who has gained 977 yards and scored 15 touchdowns on 87 carries, The Lancer’s top five rushers have combined for 3,253 yards and 43 scores.

Two of Amherst’s top five rushers are senior brothers Jamal (72 carries, 903 yards, 11 TDs) and Jamar (58-475, 4 TDs) Glover. The identical twins are among the Lancers’ speediest players with 40-yard dash times of 4.4 and 4.5 seconds, respectively.

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