The Civic Memorial Eagles cruised by the Salem Wildcats in Friday night’s non-conference contest at Lewis Hauser Field in Bethalto.
The Eagles trounced the Wildcats 46-15. Civic Memorial improved to 2-0 with the win.
The Eagles’ offense has certainly been potent in the first two weeks of the 2016 campaign, as they defeated Marquette Catholic 30-0 in Week 1. They've now scored 79 points in their first eight quarters of football.
The running game was on for a second straight week for the Eagles. Running backs Rikki Lafferty and Camryn Gerhardt each scored two touchdowns in the rout over Salem (0-2).
CM coach Mike Parmentier, who took over the program this year, thought his team played better in Week 2.
“I’m really excited, I didn’t think we played really well in Week 1,” Parmentier said. “In the second half, we started to come around. I thought our quarterback Brayden Pierce did a good job tonight, he settled down and hit a couple of throws. That loosened up their defense a little bit.”
The Eagles established a 6-0 lead with Lafferty’s touchdown at the 6:54 mark in the first quarter. The drive was typical of many of CM’s drives in that it worked the clock to the team’s favor. The series started on the Eagles' 23-yard line at the 9:56 mark. Colin Hall’s extra point made the score 7-0.
The Eagles still had a 7-0 advantage at the end of the first quarter. However, Gerhardt carried the ball into the end zone just six-seconds into the second quarter to make the score 13-0.
Pierce’s two-yard run into the end zone with 13 seconds left in the second quarter gave the Eagles a 19-point advantage. Pierce connected on four-of-seven passes for 63 yards in the contest through the air.
CM finished the first half with 15 first-down conversions while Salem had just five.
The Eagles continued their scoring rampage in the third quarter. They made the most of the Wildcat’s turnovers, as defensive back David Lane intercepted a pass from Salem quarterback Nathan Roth and ran the ball 22-yards into the end zone at the 7:56 mark in the third quarter to make the score 25-0 in favor of CM.
The Wildcat’s next possession also created an opportunity, as the Eagles recovered a fumble on Salem’s 43-yard line at the 7:35 mark. Three plays later Gerhart scored a touchdown to make the score 32-0.
The Wildcats showed a little life on the next series with a three play, 66-yard drive capped off by an Eric Schoonover’s touchdown. But the Eagles answered with a nine-play, 62-yard drive that ended with a Lafferty touchdown and CM went up 39-8.
“I’m really disappointed in this game,” Salem coach Kevin Greene said. “I thought we could have used a little of our speed to try and neutralize a little bit of their size, but their kids do a nice job up front, they’re big. We fought at times, but we couldn’t stop their run game.”
Parmentier also talked about the effectiveness of the offensive line.
“Those kids, they’ve done a great job of conditioning themselves,” he said. “And we’re very physical up front. We had a team effort, our backs run hard and our line blocks hard, everyone got a piece of the pie. It was a good effort, offensively.”
Running back Nick Newell carried the ball 14 times for 162 yards. Parmentier said Newell “ran really hard” and did a lot in terms of second effort.
“The offensive line and Rikki Lafferty, that says it all,” Newell said. “I ran behind them and followed their blocks.”
Corey Price scored a touchdown at the 4:32 mark in the fourth quarter and Salem’s Jacob Harness scored for Salem with a little over two minutes to play.
The Eagles will return to action next Friday at 7 p.m. against Mount Zion on the road in a non-conference affair.