SALADO — Salado dominated on both sides of the ball, controlling the line of scrimmage from start to finish in a 57-0 blitzing of Mexia on Friday at Eagle Stadium.
The Eagles (2-2), who scored on their first seven possessions, never punted and outgained the Blackcats 577-82 in yards and 26-5 in first downs, racing out to a 29-0 lead in the first quarter and never looking back.
Senior fullback Aidan Wilson started things with Salado’s first two touchdowns and scored the final two TDs of the first half as the Eagles built a 50-0 lead by halftime, holding the Blackcats (1-3) to minus-12 yards through the first 24 minutes.
The Eagles, who used nine ball carriers, had 438 yards rushing and added 139 yards passing on three big-play throws in the first half, two of which went for scores from Hutton Haire to Gavyn Keyser.
Haire also had a 60-yard completion to Seth Reavis to Mexia’s 5-yard line that set up the Eagles’ second score, a 10-yard Wilson plunge that put them ahead 15-0 with 8:15 left in the first.
Salado recovered three Mexia fumbles, all but one of which led to touchdowns.
“We just played harder than them,” said Wilson, who ran the ball four times for 37 yards on Salado’s first drive, capped by his 15-yard TD that put Salado ahead for good with 10:02 left in the first.
“We’ve been working hard all week and we knew the kind of execution we needed to have coming into it,” Wilson continued. “It was just good blocking, offensively. Us running backs, we just found the holes and ran. It wouldn’t have been possible without that O-line.”
The Eagles had six players record at least 25 yards rushing and limited Mexia to minus-18 yards rushing.
Junior Adam Benavides followed Wilson’s output with 86 yards on eight carries, including a 3-yard touchdown in the third that capped a 15-play, 92-yard drive and provided Salado’s only score of the second half.
Mexia followed that with its only efficient drive of the night as Trey Betts found Kayleb Mathews on six straight completions, the last of which was a 38-yarder that reached the Salado 5-yard line. But, following an Eagles timeout, Braydon Sumners intercepted Betts’ next pass at the goal line to keep the shutout intact.
Salado head coach Alan Haire said his team was anxious to get the taste of last week’s 48-21 loss to Stephenville out of its mouth, which motivated them during practice all week.
“We were coming off a rough week and wanted to get that doubt out of our mind,” said Haire, whose team stopped a two-game losing streak with the win. “The only way to do that is to start really fast. We wanted to jump out early and stay in front. I think our offensive line executed well. I’m proud of how we looked dynamic tonight as far as getting off the football.”
Following Wilson’s second touchdown, the Eagles’ Cavahn Wilson recovered a Blackcats fumble on the next possession, setting up Salado with field position at Mexia’s 36-yard line.
It then took three plays for Haire to find Keyser for the first of their two TD connections, this one being a 31-yard strike that made for a 22-0 cushion with 6:07 left in the first.
Mexia then fumbled the following kickoff and Salado again capitalized on a short field. Caden Strickland capped the three-play, 29-yard drive with a 20-yard scoring run to up the lead to 29-0 with 4:47 left in the first.
Salado hosts Taylor next week in its final non-district game while Mexia hosts China Spring.
SALADO 57, MEXIA 0
Mexia 0 0 0 0 — 0
Salado 29 21 7 0 — 57
Sal — Wilson 10 run (Isaac Pettigrew run)
Sal — Gavyn Keyser 31 pass from Hutton Haire (Chaty kick)
Sal — Caden Strickland 20 run (Chaty kick)
Sal — Keyser 48 pass from Haire (Chaty kick)
Sal — Wilson 10 run (Chaty kick)
Sal — Wilson 58 run (Chaty kick)
Sal — Adam Benavides 3 run (Chaty kick)
First downs 5 26
Rushes-yards 14-(-18) 59-438
Passing yards 100 139
Comp.-Att.-Int. 11-19-1 3-5-0
Punts-average 6-42.5 0-00.0
Fumbles-lost 3-3 2-1
Penalties-yards 7-45 7-60
RUSHING — Mexia, Xavier Molina 7-3, Team 1-(minus 1), Sandles 1-(minus 2), Nate Burns 4-(minus 2), Deandr’a Betts 1-(minus 16). Salado, Wilson 13-149, Benavides 8-86, Dusty Rhiddlehoover 10-45, Strickland 5-39, Seth Reavis 4-37, Kye Hayes 7-25, Hutton Haire 4-24, Kase Maedgen 3-23, Aydlin Keating 2-3, Team 3-(minus 3).
PASSING — Mexia, Betts 8-9-1-78, Burns 3-10-0-22. Salado, Haire 3-5-0-139.
RECEIVING — Mexia, Kayleb Mathews 6-69, Da’Kedrick Brooks 3-17, Shemariah Fullylove 1-14, Tej Bryant 1-0. Salado, Keyser 2-79, Reavis 1-60.
FRIDAY'S AREA FOOTBALL SCORES
- China Spring 47, Lampasas 7
- Florence 10, Goldthwaite 7
- Gatesville 40, Hillsboro 6
- Lake Belton 28, Cameron Yoe 14
- Salado 57, Mexia 0