Hearts Score Early, Hold On for Homecoming Win Over Salem

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Published on September 28 2013 3:40 am
Last Updated on October 12 2013 4:16 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Video of the homecoming ceremony at halftime is located here.

The Effingham Hearts needed a win Friday night and they got it, and that's the bottom line.

It might not have been a thing of beauty, but the Hearts scored early and then held on for a 9-6 Homecoming win over the Salem Wildcats.  The game was heard on the radio on 979XFM, online via the Listen Live button at the top-right of the page, and on smartphones and tablets with our new app, available here.

Effingham scored with 2:40 remaining in the opening quarter to complete a five-play, 63-yard drive on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Wolff to Marcus Robinson.  The extra point kick was blocked, but the Hearts had a 6-0 lead.

Photo by Gary Stanfield of Riviera Records in Effingham. Check out Gary's work by clicking here.

Effingham scored with 10:05 remaining in the second quarter when Michael Carie booted a 21-yard field goal, capping a five-play, 62-yard drive.

The Hearts held on from there, unable to generate much offense but holding Salem scoreless until the Wildcats scored with 1:28 remaining in the third quarter on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Riley Martin to Nick Conklin.  The pass for two was incomplete and the Hearts held on to a three-point advantage. 

There was no further scoring in the game, although Salem gave indication more than once that they might again find the end zone.

For the second straight week, Effingham's opponent ran more plays than did the Hearts, but the Hearts ended up with more yardage and more points.  The disparity wasn't as dramatic this week as last week against Charleston, but Salem did run 74 plays to 56 for Effingham.  However, the Hearts netted 250 yards to 242 for Salem.  Each team registered 15 first downs.

Effingham gained 87 yards rushing to 77 yards for Salem, with the Hearts rushing the ball 32 times to 24 for Salem.  Passing, though, was the interesting category.  Salem passed the ball 50 times to 24 for Effingham, but the Hearts gained 163 yards through the air, just two yards less than Salem.

Hearts' quarterback Dylan Wolff connected on 14 of 24 pass attempts for 163 yards and one touchdown while throwing one interception.  On the ground, here are the numbers: Zach Mller--67 yards on 18 carries...Trent Barnhart--nine yards on six carries...Dylan Wolff--eight yards on six carries...and Travis Durbin--three yards on two carries.  Through the air, here are the totals: Marcus Robinson--four receptions for 76 yards and one touchdown...Matt Wohltman--five catches for 67 yards...Zach Miller--three catches for 23 yards...Carter Hayes--two yards on one catch...and Travis Durbin--one reception but for minus five yards.

Photo by Gary Stanfield of Riviera Records in Effingham. Check out Gary's work by clicking here.

For Salem, Paul Moskal who carried almost 40 times last week for 277 yards against Paris, was held to 40 yards on 11 carries against the Hearts.  Dakota McDonald gained 34 yards on five carries.  The Wildcats' aerial attack was interesting in that it gained 165 yards but just one touchdown.  Seth Crain caught six passes for 61 yards, Nick Conklin caught eight passes for 52 yards and the touchdown, Evan Maxey had three catches for 48 yards, and Tristan Holmes caught two passes for four yards.

As far as special teams, Salem's Seth Crain produced 159 yards on four punts.  Effingham's Michael Carie generated 217 yards on five punts.

On the tackle sheet, here's who got what for Effingham...

Travis Durbin--9 (five solos)...Drew Vasquez and Brandon Loy--8 each (each with four solo stops)...Griffin Paige--5 (one solo)...Marcus Robinson, Noah Hagen, Blaine Koester and Evan Boggs--4 (two solos each for Robinson, Koester and Boggs, one for Hagen)...Payton Bushue and Billy Arndt--3 (two solos each for Bushue and Arndt)...Matt Wohltman, Khye Heuerman and Tim Ahillen--2 (two solos for Ahillen and one for Wohltman...and Carter Hayes--1 (a solo).

Photo by Gary Stanfield of Riviera Records in Effingham. Check out Gary's work by clicking here.

Payton Bushue, Billy Arndt and Tyler Myers each had a fumble recovery, and Drew Vasquez had an interception.

The win pushes the Hearts' season mark to 2-3 but 2-0 in the Apollo Conference and tied for the top spot with Mattoon.  Effingham travels to Paris next Friday night.  Kickoff is at 7pm and you can hear the action at 979XFM, online via the Listen Live button at the top-right of the page, and on smartphones and tablets with our new app, available here.