BEVERLY — Moving the football upfield and into your opponent’s territory is one thing.
Finding a way to put points on the board once you’re there is a totally different scenario — a lesson the Salem High Witches are learning the hard way.
For the second time in four games this season the Witches were unable to put any points on the scoreboard, falling to Winthrop, 21-0, in a Northeastern Conference South contest at Hurd Stadium. (the Witches used Hurd as their ‘home’ venue Saturday while Bertram Field in Salem is still under repair).
Three times Salem had the football in the first half of play and three times they marched over midfield and into Vikings territory, but came away with nary a point. That included six cracks from inside the Winthrop 10-yard line — and still, no points. The Witches also had three second half possessions (both teams controlled the football for long stretches of play via the ground), yet again couldn’t convert on their lone venture into the visitors’ side of the field.
“It’s all about offensive consistency and the need to do a much better job in that area,” said Salem head coach Scott Connolly, whose team has scored 29 points in its four games. “When we get red zone opportunities we have to find a way to capitalize. You can’t stall in that area; you have to put points on the board.”
Winthrop, a junior-laden team tied with Danvers and Lynn Classical atop the NEC South at 2-0, proved to be opportunistic. It converted all four of its 4th down opportunities and was quick to the point of attack on defense, holding the Witches to two yards or fewer on 21 of their 40 rushing attempts.
There were two key sequences in the contest — and both went against the Witches.