For the season the jet-fueled Pierce is averaging an amazing 13 yards a carry, with 780 yards and a dozen rushing touchdowns on just 60 carries.
After Salem’s dynamic quarterback, Christian Dunston (156 yards passing), was crushed on a blitz by linebacker Sam Malumba, he fumbled on the Witches’ 27-yard line and it was recovered by Beverly’s Sean Winston. On the next play, Beverly scored again as Flaherty got behind the safety and dove to haul in Rollins’ arching pass in the left corner of the end zone, sending Beverly into halftime with a comfortable 21-0 lead.
“We were able to make some athletic plays when we needed to,” said Bauer.
The Orange-and-Black stretched their lead to 28-0 in the fourth quarter as captain Dom Abate found himself wide open in the end zone and corralled a 28-yard halfback option pass from Flaherty for his team’s final score.
“I’ve been playing here (at Hurd) since I was 7 years old, and there was no way we were losing this last game here,” said Abate. “The memories we made here, they’ll last a lifetime.”
Salem would not quit, however. Dunston took to the air and found senior Ben Sattiewhite twice in the end zone, once from 27 yards out and another from 11. They were the fifth and sixth TD catches of the season for Sattiewhite, while Dunston finished his 2012 campaign with 1,057 passing yards. In both instances, junior Connor Duncan booted the extra points. But the Witches never got any closer.
“How well this group has focused all season to get to this point, it’s pretty amazing,” said Bauer. “They came together as a group and included everyone by being encouraging, respectful and caring about each other.”
Beverly 28, Salem 14
at Hurd Stadium, Beverly
Salem (4-7) 0 0 0 14 — 14
Beverly (11-0) 7 14 0 7 — 28
B-Kenny Pierce 9 run (Harry Brown kick)