Courtesy of Salisbury Athletics
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Junior superback Randal Smedley had a career day as the Salisbury University football team took down the Apprentice School, 31-7, to open the final season of conference games in the Atlantic Central Football Conference Saturday afternoon. The seven points allowed marks the third time this season the Sea Gull defense has held an opponent to that number, as the unit was outstanding all day long.
The Salisbury defense allowed Apprentice just 199 total offensive yards on the day and limited the Builders to negative-35 rushing yards. The number is just nine away from a school record set last season when the Sea Gulls held St. John Fisher to negative-45 yards rushing.
The defense was paced by junior Jamey McClendon who registered 10 tackles and had one of seven Salisbury sacks. Senior Riley Fritts and junior Matt Leon each recorded nine tackles, while Fritts had 2.5 sacks and Leon had a pair.
Salisbury (4-1, 1-0) took a 3-0 lead on a 30-yard field goal by sophomore A.J. Rosenthal less than four minutes into the game and the Gulls added their first touchdown of the day late in the opening quarter on a 1-yard plunge by Smedley. The Sea Gulls had just taken over after a muffed punt and capitalized for a 10-0 lead.
The 10-point edge would hold through halftime, before the Sea Gull offense took off â€“ on the shoulders of Smedley. The Frederick, Md., product took 21 handoffs in the game and rushed for a whopping 250 yards. He pushed Salisbury's lead to 17-0 with an 80-yard dash late in the third quarter and put up scoring runs of 5 and 7 yards in the final stanza as the Sea Gulls stretched their lead to 31-0 before the Builders (1-4, 0-1 ACFC) scored with a minute remaining in the game.
Smedley's 250 yards are a new career-high, more than doubling his previous number of 121 yards against Frostburg State last November. The four touchdowns are also the best of his career and are one shy of the ACFC record, set in 2001, and one shy of the Salisbury University record which had stood since 1986. Smedley is Salisbury's first 200-yard rusher since Leroy Satchell went for 229 against Kean University on Oct. 16, 2004.
Sophomore quarterback Dan Griffin ran for 79 yard while junior slot Jonathan Briscoe had 72 combined yards; he rushed for 24, had 24 yards on three punt returns and 24 yards on one kickoff return.
The Sea Gulls will be off next Saturday, and will return to Sea Gull Stadium on Oct. 16, when they take on Huntingdon College as part of Homecoming Weekend.