Courtesy of Salisbury Athletics
BANGOR, Maine â€“ The Salisbury University football team claimed a dominant 84-7 victory on a record-breaking Saturday afternoon at Husson University. The win is the Sea Gulls' third straight to open the 2010 season, and it marked Salisbury's first road victory since the end of the 2008 season. The 77-point margin of victory is a new school record, topping last season's 70-point win against the Apprentice School and the 84 points scored betters the 79 posted against Becker College in a 79-20 win in 2007.
After taking the opening kickoff, the Sea Gulls hampered themselves with a couple of early penalties before settling in for a seven-play, 60-yard scoring drive that ate up 4:04 on the clock. The drive culminated in a 16-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Dan Griffin, keeping the ball on an option play and running up the middle. The extra-point by sophomore A.J. Rosenthal gave the Gulls (3-0) a 7-0 lead and Salisbury never looked back.
The Sea Gull defense picked up on its first possession where the offense left off. Two plays into the first defensive stand of the day senior linebacker Justin Chura picked off a pass from Husson quarterback Jack Hersom; the second interception of Chura's career. The Lothian, Md., product returned the ball to the Husson 30-yard line and the offense needed just one play to stretch the lead to two possessions. Senior slot Bryan Woolson scampered in for the second Sea Gull score of the day.
Salisbury would put up 12 touchdowns in the game, posting a new school-record 708 yards of total offense, topping the 671-yard performance against Becker in 2007. Rosenthal was 12-for-12 on point after attempts in the game, edging the previous school record of 11 held by Brendan Kincaid during that same contest against Becker. Rosenthal's dozen kicks were one shy of the NCAA Division III record, set in 1977 by Kurt Christenson of Concordia College-Moorhead.
For the second week in a row, the Sea Gull offense would not be denied the end zone during any of its first half possessions, scoring seven touchdowns before halftime to open up a 49-0 lead at the break. The first half scores included a pair of touchdown passes from Griffin to senior Alex Boseman. The strikes were the first touchdown passes of Griffin's collegiate career.
Griffin was 3-for-3 passing in the game for a career-best 81 yards and the two scores. Freshman Joey Jones got time under center in the second half, completing his only pass attempt of the day for a 74-yard scoring strike to sophomore Ross Flanigan.
Despite the staggering numbers offensively, the ball was spread evenly, with Griffin running the ball for a game-high 105 yards. Jones also went for a career-day on the ground, rushing three times for 103 yards while junior superback Randal Smedley carried the ball a team-high 11 times for 98 yards and a touchdown.
The Sea Gull defense allowed just one Husson score, on a 30-yard touchdown pass with 2:06 remaining in the game. It was the first score for the Eagles (0-3) this season. Salisbury forced four Husson turnovers, including picking off three passes. Freshman defensive back Andre Carter made the most of his interception in the fourth quarter, returning it 79 yards for the Sea Gulls' final score of the day.
Salisbury will be back at Sea Gull Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 25, when the Sea Gulls host Hampden-Sydney College on Family Day. The game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.