SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University football team posted a record-setting day on Saturday in its first-ever home New Jersey Athletic Conference game, defeating Southern Virginia University 91-7 at Sea Gull Stadium.
The Sea Gulls set the record for most points (91), most touchdowns (13), and largest margin of victory (84) in the win, breaking their previous marks from the team's 84-7 win at Husson University on September 18, 2010. Sophomore kicker Alex Potocko also tied the record of most extra points with 12, matching former Sea Gull A.J. Rosenthal, who kicked 12 at Husson.
It only took Salisbury one minute and 34 seconds to find the end zone on its first drive. Junior Ryan Jones found senior Isaiah Taylor on a pass deep down the left sideline for a 48-yard score on the fifth play of the game.
Taylor found pay dirt on the second-straight drive after the Sea Gull defense forced a punt on Southern Virginia's first drive. After an 11-yard rush from senior Jerome Johnson and a 4-yard run by junior Connor Canonico, Taylor took an end-around pitch off the right side and weaved through the Knights' defense for a 50-yard score and 14-0 lead.
Salisbury held the Knights to negative-3 yards on their next drive, forcing another punt. On the first play of the Gulls' drive, Canonico took the ball up the middle and rumbled through the Southern Virginia defense for 20 yards. He followed that with a 27-yard run up the middle, breaking several tackles on the way to the Knights' 1-yard line.
It only took Canonico one try to punch the ball in from there for his first score, giving the Gulls a 21-0 advantage. With 48 yards on the drive, Canonico would finish second on the team with 78-yards rushing and two scores.
Southern Virginia scored its lone touchdown on a pass from Shawn Honeycutt to Bryan Lorenzen to cut into the lead 21-7, but Salisbury responded with an eight-play, 67-yard drive to regain a 21-point edge.
Johnson started the drive with a 14-yard run, before Jones hit Taylor on a 9-yard hitch on the left side. Jones got the ball to the Knights' 24-yard line with a 15-yard run, helping to set up a 19-yard touchdown run for Johnson down the right sideline. Taking the pitch, Johnson cut back inside past a Southern Virginia defender into the end zone.
Senior James Hall recovered a fumble on Southern Virginia's 7-yard line to again set Salisbury up in Knight territory with 25 seconds left in the first quarter. Canonico ran in from 3-yards out just seven seconds into the second quarter for a 35-7 advantage with 14:53 left in the first half.
Junior Aarron Moore took over in the second quarter, finding pay dirt on three-straight drives, all on rushes down the left sideline.
His first came on a one-play drive, taking the ball on a pitch from Jones and racing down the left side for 38 yards.
On the next series, Canonico ran 16 yards to the Southern Virginia 40-yard line, setting up another long score for Moore. Again taking the pitch off the left side, Moore outran the Knights' defense for the 40-yard touchdown.
His third score, notching a team high, was from 17-yards out, before Jones added a 31-yard run to give the team a 63-7 halftime lead. Moore led the team with 104 yards in the game, all coming in the first half, while Jones picked up 71 yards on the ground and 57 through the air and two total touchdowns.
The third quarter brought the first career touchdowns for freshman Demetrius Pate and junior Antoine Goodson. Pate recovered a Southern Virginia fumble in the end zone, while Goodson later capped a six-play, 51-yard drive with a nine-yard rush. Goodson finished the game with 42 yards on the ground.
Taylor finished the game with 107 yards of total offense and two touchdowns, including 57 receiving yards.
Sophomore Mark Davis Jr. led the team with eight total tackles, while adding an interception. Freshman Devinne Greene also tallied an interception, and juniors Zack Hess and Malik Hollings and sophomore Carl Fogg all got into the back field for one sack, each. Hall and junior Tyler Paradysz each notched a half sack.
The Gulls finished the game with 594 total yards of offense, with 537 coming on the ground. The defense held Southern Virginia to 134 total yards.
The Sea Gulls head back out on the road for their next game, traveling to The College of New Jersey on Saturday, October 3; the opening kickoff is set for 12 p.m.