Plum keeps Greensburg Salem from reaching 700-win plateau

Friday, September 11, 2020 | 10:59 PM

For Greensburg Salem, football victory No. 700 will have to wait for at least another week.

The Golden Lions were bidding to become just the fifth WPIAL school to reach that lofty plateau Friday night, but Plum had another idea.

“We talked about it all week,” Plum coach Matt Morgan said. “We kept saying, ‘Let’s not be that team that’s going to give them their 700th win.’ We made it a point to pound that into the guys every chance we could.”

Reed Martin scored three touchdowns, including a 92-yard kickoff return, and kicked a 41-yard field goal. Eryck Moore rushed for 105 yards and a touchown, and Ryan Hubner passed for 146 yards and another score to lead visiting Plum to a 36-13 victory, spoiling Greensburg Salem’s second bid for the school’s 700th football win.

The Golden Lions also lost to Blackhawk in a first-round WPIAL playoff game in their final contest last season to finish the year with 699.

They remained stuck there after the loss to Plum.

“We’re going to get it,” Greensburg Salem coach Dave Keefer said. “We’ll find it, and I told the kids to just keep playing. We’ll be OK. It’s early.”

Greensburg Salem (0-1, 0-1) takes an all-time record of 699-390-39 into its next game Friday at Offutt Field, another Class 4A Greater Allegheny Conference matchup against Knoch.

A victory would move the Golden Lions into the 700 Club with Jeannette (756), New Castle (746), Aliquippa (734) and Washington (710).

Greensburg Salem got off to a great start — quarterback Hayden Teska firing a 50-yard touchdown strike to Alex Briggs midway through the first quarter — stoking hopes the team would reach the coveted 700-victory mark.

The feeling didn’t last long, though, as Martin returned the subsequent kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, knotting the score at 6-6.

Plum (1-0, 1-0) took the lead for good just 16 seconds later when Logan Brooks caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Hubner with 5:48 left in the first half.

The play was set up after Greensburg Salem fumbled away the kickoff after Martin’s tying play.

Plum added a second-quarter touchdown run of 39 yards by Moore to take a 19-6 lead at halftime.

“We were a little more rocky than what we’d have liked at the start,” Morgan said. “We didn’t take care of the football in the first half, and still in the second half, we had trouble taking care of it. I expect bigger and better things in the coming weeks.”

No. 700 remained within reach for Greensburg Salem, heading into the second half, but Plum pulled away, scoring three more times to take a 36-6 lead.

Martin scored on a 6-yard run and Moore on a 14-yarder before Martin kicked a 41-yard field goal with 1:45 left in the third quarter.

He also missed another 41-yarder in the fourth.

“Martin is kind of a do-it-all kid for us,” Morgan said. “He really doesn’t come off the field. The X-factor is he can kick it.”

Briggs, who rushed for 120 yards on 20 carries, added a 2-yard touchdown run for Greensburg Salem in the closing minutes.

“I’m not mad,” Keefer said. “I’m disappointed we didn’t win the game and we didn’t execute better, but that’s part of the challenge of coaching. I’ve got a great group of coaches, and I know we’re all up for the challenge.”

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