“Our linemen really stepped up; they started moving kids up front and I was able to exploit the defense,” he added.
“Those were some hard yards he had today,” Beverly coach Dan Bauer said, noting White had a season-high 32 carries. “But this is a senior game. Isaiah shined, as he has all season, and the line in front of him played well, too. I’m just really proud of him.”
Despite trailing for all but the game’s first two minutes and two seconds of play, Salem (2-9) was never really out of it. In fact, the Witches got inside the Beverly 10-yard line on three different drives, but came away with zero points as a result.
“Against a team like Beverly you have to put some points on the board there,” admitted Salem head coach Scott Connolly. “Defensively we made some big plays and gave our offense a chance (to score), but aside from that one (Aaron Palmer’s 20-yard scoring run around left end late in the second quarter), we weren’t able to.”
Connolly’s nephew, senior captain and quarterback Austin Connolly, ran for 106 yards and threw for another 73 while Palmer had 72 more on the ground. But Salem hurt themselves offensively with penalties, a dropped pass in the end zone and missed blocks.
“We bent but never really broke,” said Bauer of his defense, “and that was important because of those opportunities that they had (down by the goal line). The Salem kids played their butts off, as we knew they would.”
All 316 of Beverly’s yards offensively came on the ground. Aside from White (who also had a fumble recovery), Madden glided through the Salem defense for 84 yards on just seven carries while fellow sophomore Peter Mulumba chewed up another 59 yards on eight attempts.
A year removed from their unbeaten Super Bowl season and minus 27 seniors from that team, finishing the 2013 season with another victory — their seventh in nine games since starting 0-2 — was satisfying for the Panthers.