Salem Blue Devils Football '21

Sat, Nov 06, 2021 06:30 PM @ Bishop Guertin
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Salem 7 34 7 13 61
Bishop Guertin 8 8 8 7 31

McDonald runs for 333 yards, Salem rolls over BG

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NASHUA — Spearheaded by an historic performance by senior Aiden McDonald, Salem High used a relentless and brutal ground attack to roll over Bishop Guertin, 61-31, in the opening round of the Division I State Tournament, Saturday night at Stellos Stadium.
McDonald was unstoppable, rushing for 333 yards and six touchdowns on just 17 carries. As a team, the Blue Devils rolled up 559 yards on the ground and more than 600 yards of total offense. Despite this, Head Coach Steve Abraham doesn't think his team has played its best football.
"I don't think so," he said. "We're a good team. Everyone thought the sky was falling when we started out 1-2. But Pinkerton is a good team, BG is a good team. We had a couple little things go wrong. We just had to believe in ourselves and we had to get better."
With the win, 3rd-seeded Salem (7-2) advances to the South/West bracket final to face top-seeded Londonderry, a team that has been a thorn in the Blue Devils' side in the post-season over the past several years. Last month, Salem knocked off Londonderry, 35-21. But Abraham knows how little regular season results mean in the tournament. After all, Bishop Guertin shut down Salem, 17-14, back in September. Saturday night was a completely different story.
The 2nd-seeded Cardinals (7-3) actually drew first blood on a 21-yard touchdown run by quarterback Matt Santosuosso (23 carries, 109 yards, 3 TD) on their opening drive. Santosuosso also ran in the 2-point conversion for a brief 8-0 lead.
Salem's response was as swift as it was devastating.
The Blue Devils reeled off 34 straight points, starting with a 44-yard touchdown run by McDonald to cut the lead to 8-7. Early in the second quarter, McDonald added his second score, from 2 yards out before Thomas Ahlers exploded for a 64-yard scoring run and suddenly, Salem had a 20-8 lead.
On any other night, Ahlers would have been the star of the game, finishing with 148 yards and 2 TDs on 11 carries. But this night belonged to McDonald, who scored on runs of 50 yards and 20 yards to help the Blue Devils build a 41-16 halftime lead.
Salem poured it on in the third quarter, with a 7-yard touchdown run by McDonald, his fifth of the game, to push the lead to 48-16.
Adam Gnanou gave Bishop Guertin fans a reason to cheer, with an electrifying 89-yard return for a touchdown on the ensuing kick. Another conversion rush by Santosuosso cut the Salem lead to 48-24. But that was as close as the Cardinals would get.
David Jacques (10 carries, 66 yards) scored on a 4-yard run before McDonald put the exclamation mark on his night with a school-record tying 99-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter. According to school officials, it tied a record for the longest run from scrimmage by a Salem runner last set back in 1973.

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

BG — Matt Santasuosso 21 run (Santasuosso rush) 5:56

S —  Aidan McDonald 44 run (Joshua Brady kick) 5:22

Second Quarter

S —  McDonald 2 run (Brady kick) 10:38

S — Thomas Ahlers 64 run (kick fails) 9:34

S — McDonald 50 run (Brady kick) 6:28

S — Ahlers 19 run (Brady kick) 3:45

BG — Santasuosso 3 run (Luke Kourkoulakos pass from Santasuosso) 0:54.6

S — McDonald 20 run (Brady kick) 0:12.7

Third Quarter

S — McDonald 7 run (Brady kick) 4:40

BG — Adam Gnanou 89 yard kick off return (Santasuosso rush) 4:28

Fourth Quarter

S — David Jacques 4 run (kick fails) 11:55

S — McDonald 99 run (Brady kick) 9:25

BG — Sanasuosso 14 run (Connor Lennon kick) 1:57



RUSHING: Salem (44-559) – Aidan McDonald 17-333, Thomas Ahlers 11-148, David Jacques 10-66, Nolan Lumley 2-8, Justice Casado 1-6, Damian Gigante 1-2, Brody McDonald 1-0. Gavin Simone 1-(-1); Bishop Guertin (44-237) – Matt Santosuosso 23-109, Charlie Bellavance 14-69, Ethan Chmielecki 7-59

PASSING: Salem — Noah Mustapha 1-2-0-56; Bishop Guertin — Santosuosso 5-11-0-66, Michael MacDonough 0-1-1-0

RECEIVING: Salem — Damian Gigante 1-56; Bishop Guertin —  Cody Szymansky 3-37, Chase Amaral 1-18, Jakob Baker 1-11

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