Sep. 18—SALEM — Thanks in large part to senior quarterback Nathan Campos, Pinkerton's football team put on a clinic Friday night.
A wing-T clinic.
With Campos running for three touchdowns while gaining 81 yards on eight carries and passing for another touchdown, Pinkerton's offense was unstoppable in a surprising 49-21 defeat of host Salem.
The Astros (3-0) scored on their first seven possessions and might have made it 8 for 8 if they hadn't run out the clock the last time they had the ball.
"I don't think I've had a team do that (go 7 for 7)," said veteran coach Brian O'Reilly. "That's pretty impressive.
"My goal at the beginning of the year was to have a four-back offense like the wing-T is supposed to be. I think we showed how tough an offense it is to stop if you have four guys contributing."
Leading rusher Jacob Albert had another fine game, rushing for 137 yards on 15 carries. Junior classmate Cole Yennaco rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries and caught a TD pass and fullback Jack Mackiernan rushed for 58 yards and a TD on 10 carries.
"That's definitely one of my best games," said Campos. "I had a good day passing (3 for 3 for 54 yards) and I was able to get some good runs. The coach refers to me as the fourth back in the backfield."
Said O'Reilly: "They had no answer for Nathan. I told him at the beginning of the season that he had to run when he had the chance and he did that tonight."
Campos had the only scoring play in the first quarter, a 27-yard scamper, which set the stage for a wild second quarter in which 49 points were scored including 21 points in the last 44 seconds.
After Campos scored on a 16-yard run to start the second quarter to take a 14-0 lead, Salem came alive and scored three touchdowns — a 9-yard pass from Noah Mustapha to Matt McCloskey, a 57-yard run by Aidan McDonald (15 carries, 87 yards) and a 78-yard kickoff return by McCloskey with 36 seconds left in the half to stay within striking distance, 28-21, with 36 seconds left to halftime.
But the Astros weren't done, driving 62 yards in just three plays and 28 seconds to take a 35-21 halftime lead when Yennaco snared an 18-yard TD pass from Campos.
That final TD may have deflated Salem because the second half was all Astros, driving methodically twice for scores, first on a 10-yard Mackiernan run and finally on a 28-yard Yennaco burst up the middle.
Salem only threatened to score once in the second half but that drive was thwarted when Albert made a nice interception in the end zone.
The Blue Devils did have some bright points as Mustapha completed 6 of 8 passes in the second half in an impressive passing performance and McDonald and McCloskey had strong games.
But it was far from enough to disrupt Pinkerton's "clinic."
Pinkerton 49, Salem 21
Pinkerton (3-0): 7 28 7 7 — 49
Salem (1-2): 0 21 0 0 — 21
P — Nathan Campos 27 run (Picasso Bates kick), 2:41Team — scoring play, time
P— Campos 16 run (Bates kick), 11:13
S — Matt McCloskey 9 pass from Noah Mustapha (Josh Brady kick), 7:21
P — Cole Yennaco 4 run (Bates kick), 5:23
S — Aidan McDonald 57 run (Brady kick), 3:14
P — Campos 15 run (Bates kick), :49
S — McCloskey 78 kickoff return (Brady kick), :36
P — Yennaco 18 pass from Campos (Bates kick), :7.9
P — Mackiernan 10 run (Bates kick), 6:09
P — Yennaco 28 run (Bates kick), 9:42
RUSHING: Pinkerton (45-371)— Nathan Campos 8-81, Jacob Albert 15-137, Cole Yennaco 10-88, Jack Mackiernan 10-58, Picasso Bates 2-15; Salem (26-172) — Aidan McDonald 15-87, Noah Mustapha 5-10, Thomas Ahlers 5-71, Damian Gigante 1-4
PASSING: P — Campos 3-3-0, 54; S — Mustapha 8-12-1, 123
RECEIVING: P — Albert 1-18, Yennaco 2-36; S — Matt McCloskey 4-39, Ahlers 2-68, Kaleb Bates 1-12, Gigante 1-4