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Sallies advances with win over reigning champs

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WILMINGTON — Five different players scored for Salesianum as the Sals, the third seed in the DIAA Class 3A football tournament, knocked Sussex Central from the bracket with a 34-12 win on Nov. 27 at Abessinio Stadium. The win sets up a meeting at Middletown next weekend. The Sals and Cavaliers did not play this season.

The tone was set early by the Salesianum defense, which would not allow the sixth-seeded Golden Knights to get anything going. Sallies took advantage after their first stop, as Campbell finished a 24-yard drive with a 4-yard scoring run.

Andrew Ransome took over in the rushing spotlight for the Sals shortly thereafter. In the middle of the second quarter, he anchored the offense as it marched downfield for a 51-yard scoring drive.

Ransome began that sequence with a pair of runs for 15 yards, and he ended it minutes later. His 4-yard run doubled the Sals’ lead with 4:25 left in the half.

Salesianum delivered a potential knockout blow toward the end of the half. Noah Fathy got a hand on a Knights punt, sending it tumbling through the air. Chase Jackson grabbed it at the 45, headed down the left sideline and scored. It was 21-0 at the half.

They increased the lead after halftime. Deuce Rzucidlo was featured prominently in the drive. He began the drive with an eight-yard reception, and he was on the receiving end of a 17-yard pass from Conor Campbell. The extra point was no good, but the lead was 27-0.

The Golden Knights finally found some offense four minutes into the fourth quarter. Quarterback Zimir Gardner finished a 55-yard drive with a 36-yard TD pass to Kristopher Shields on a fourth and 11.

Sallies answered almost immediately. A long run and late hit penalty moved them from the Central 49 to the 13. Ransome carried twice to the 7, and Sean Curley ended it with a touchdown.

The Golden Knights’ Renldo Handy caught an 18-yard pass to wrap up the scoring.

Salesianum improved to 8-2. Central finished the season 6-6.

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