Greensburg Salem reverses fortunes in 4th quarter, pulls away from Connellsville
Friday, September 3, 2021 | 11:08 PM
In its opener a week ago, Greensburg Salem folded in the fourth quarter. The Golden Lions didn’t let it happen again on Friday night.
Hayden Teska threw a touchdown pass and rushed for another, and Rashad Canady scored twice on touchdown runs to lead Class 4A Greensburg Salem (1-1), which blew a fourth-quarter lead and lost to CLass 6A Hempfield a week ago.
“It was a much-improved second half tonight,” Greensburg Salem coach Dave Keefer said. “We didn’t look fatigued, like we did last week.”
Class 5A Connellsville kept the pressure on Greensburg Salem for three quarters, staying within striking distance before a fourth-quarter collapse.
Greensburg Salem (1-1) carried a 14-6 lead into halftime, with Canady scoring both Golden Lions touchdowns on runs of 8 yards in the first quarter and 5 yards in the second quarter.
His second touchdown run with 6 minutes, 45 seconds left in the first half came just 55 seconds after Connellsville closed within 7-6 on Anthony Piasecki’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Jayden McBride.
The Falcons earlier missed on another scoring chance when a high snap was bobbled on a 35-yard field-goal attempt by Ben Zavatchon, who fell on the ball as Greensburg Salem regained possession on downs.
Teska threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Donavin Waller and scored on a 1-yard run in a span of 1:23 to ignite a 20-point scoring burst in the fourth quarter for Greensburg Salem, which wasted a one-point fourth-quarter lead against Hempfield and lost to the Spartans, 29-14, in its opener.
Against Connellsville, Teska finished 11 for 21 for 171 yards passing.
Penalties hampered Greensburg Salem, but the Golden Lions overcame it and wore down the Falcons as the game progressed.
“I didn’t think we played bad in the first half,” Keefer said, “but like last week, we blew a couple of opportunities. We did some dumb things. We get lazy on coverage, and we don’t finish routes at times and that’s just bad habits we have to break.
Connellsville quarterback Anthony Piasecki completed 13 of 25 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown of 11 yards to Jayden McBride in the second quarter that pulled the Falcons within 7-6.
After Piasecki’s 1-yard keeper closed Connellsville within 14-12 with 7:17 remaining in the third quarter, the Falcons got backed up in their end. They fell behind 16-12 by botching a punt from the end zone, resulting in a Greensburg Salem safety.
Teska’s TD pass to Waller capped a drive that started when Greensburg Salem got the ball back following the safety and increased the Golden Lions’ lead to 23-12, and Connellsville couldn’t recover. J.C. Wallish also scored for Greensburg Salem. on a 5-yard run in the fourth quarter.
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