Greensburg Salem outlasts Indiana for homecoming win

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Friday, September 24, 2021 | 11:07 PM


Greensburg Salem football coach Dave Keefer issued a challenge to his team at halftime of Friday’s homecoming game against Indiana.

For the first time in a few years, Keefer’s challenge was met.

Greensburg Salem scored three second-half touchdowns and pulled away for a 35-14 victory at Offutt Field in a WPIAL Class 4A Allegheny Conference battle. It was the Golden Lions’ fourth consecutive victory.

The teams were deadlocked at 14-14, but the Golden Lions (4-1, 2-0) stunned Indiana with a quick score when quarterback Hayden Teska connected on a 70-yard touchdown pass to Jayden Stevens, who broke a tackle near midfield and pulled away from the secondary.

“It’s been awhile since we challenged our team, and the way they responded in the second half is probably one of the compliments to our players,” Keefer said. “We made a couple adjustments in how we were trying to take some things away. They have a good scheme, and it’s tough to defend.

“The fullback runs it hard, and the quarterback is dynamic. How we came out physically in the second half really changed the course of the game. When we became physical, those shots started to add up and the ball started popping out.”

After an Indiana turnover, the Golden Lions quickly capitalized when Teska hit Cody Rubrecht in the flat on fourth down and the junior did a spin move and raced 30 yards for a score to make it 28-14.

“We came out in the second half and played well as a team,” senior linebacker J.C. Wallish said. “This is what we worked for in the offseason. I feel we can go places.”

Indiana (3-2, 1-1), which was riding a three-game winning streak like Greensburg Salem, turned the ball over five times and had 10 penalties for 95 yards.

Indiana junior quarterback Devin Flint, who scored twice in the first half and rushed for 130 yards, had a 57-yard touchdown called back late in the third quarter by a penalty. Four plays later, he left the game with sore ribs, according to Indiana coach Brandon Overdorf.

For the first three quarters, the Golden Lions relied on the arm of Teska, who completed 14 of 28 passes for 277 yards.

In the final frame, Greensburg Salem went to the Wildcat with Rubrecht taking snaps. It ended with Rashad Canady racing 47 yards for a score to make it 35-14.

Indiana, which didn’t complete a pass, rushed for 272 yards. Zach Herrington grinded out 128 yards. Indiana would have had more than 300 yards rushing, but it lost 26 yards on a bad snap in punt formation.

“We had too many turnovers and penalties,” Overdorf said. “If Devin’s long touchdown wasn’t called back, maybe it’s a different story. But Greensburg Salem is a very talented team, and we didn’t tackle well in space. It made more plays than we did.”

Greensburg Salem took advantage of an Indiana miscues to grab an early 7-0 lead. Donavin Waller recovered a fumble at the Indiana 2 after the snap in punt formation sailed over punter Brock Miller’s head.

Indiana got its running game in gear with the help of a Greensburg Salem penalty. Indiana drove 95 yards for the score with Flint scoring on a 5-yard run. The 2-point conversion failed, leaving Greensburg Salem up 7-6.

Greensburg Salem responded with a scoring drive with Teska hitting Canady with a swing pass from the Indiana 3.

But Indiana tied the score 14-14 on Flint’s second touchdown run right before halftime.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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