The Salem News
---- — Give Salem High’s Aaron Palmer a little bit of space, said head coach Scott Connolly, and the senior running back can really make things happen.
That was certainly the case Friday night at Della Russo Stadium, as Palmer ran for 187 yards and all three of his team’s touchdowns as the Witches won their first game of the season, 21-14 over the host Patriots.
“It was a victory we really needed,” said Connolly, whose team scored in each of the first three quarters and held Revere off the scoreboard in the second half. “Aaron did a fantastic job, the offensive line in front of him opened holes for him, and everyone pulled together as a team to make sure we got this ‘W’.”
Palmer capped off a 90-yard drive on Salem’s opening drive, scoring from 6 yards out. After Revere’s Tommy Portrait had a pair of touchdown runs, the Witches tied the game before halftime on a 2-yard jaunt by Palmer.
In the third quarter, Palmer took off for a scintillating 92-yard scoring run, and Shakir White’s third extra point of the game gave Salem a 21-14 lead -- one it would hold for the rest of the afternoon.
Defensively, linebacker Josh McRae led the Witches with 13 tackles, two pass deflections and two sacks. Salem also held off Revere on the game’s final drive, stopping them on 4th down as time expired.
Salem ran for 257 yards as a team while quarterback Austin Connolly connected with Genrri Rosario for a 50-yard pass completion.
“We were finally able to put together a full 44-minute performance, which is huge heading into our Danvers game (this Friday),” said Connolly, his team now 1-4. “I’m happy for the guys that all the hard work they’ve been putting in showed itself in this win.”