Salesianum's Kevin Faries celebrates after a punt return TD against Smyrna

Salesianum's Kevin Faries celebrates after a punt return TD against Smyrna

Salesianum's Andrew Watkins scored 3 touchdowns as the Sals took advantage of a few mistakes by a young Smyrna squad for a 35-16 victory.

Salesianum needed to win to stay on the inside track for the post-season, and they got going on a big special teams play.

Kevin Faries caught a Smyrna punt in full stride and raced 52 yards down his team's sideline for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

After Smyrna lost a fumble on their next drive, Salesianum's Watkins made them pay with a 1-yard touchdown to lead 14-0 after the opening quarter.

Smyrna finally got their offense going early in the 2nd quarter, as Aidan Sanchez threw a screen to Devin Smith, who made one Salesianum defender miss and sprint 43 yards for a touchdown, getting within 14-8 after a Wayne Knight 2-point conversion.

Knight, the younger brother of current Old Dominion tailback Will, ran the Earthquake formation just the previous No. 25 powering in both a touchdown and a two-point conversion to lead 16-14.

Salesianum would miss a 31-yard field goal before halftime, and then a muffed snap cost them a chance at a 39-yarder late in the 3rd quarter that could have given them the lead.

Smyrna would make a critical error early in the 4th quarter, as they muffed a Salesianum punt at their own 11 yard line, and Watkins scored from there on the next play to put the Sals back in front 22-16.

Smyrna went on a drive to try to take over the lead near midfield, but a fumble out of the Earthquake led to Matthew Scott racing the other way for a 60-yard touchdown.

Salesianum would get 2 more picks, including one by Jehoshua Johnson, and Watkins finished with a 12-yard score with 1:47 left to seal the victory.

The Sals (7-2) all but clinched a Division 1 playoff bid, ahead of their rivalry showdown with Saint Mark's at Baynard Stadium next Friday on WDEL.

Smyrna (2-6) will look to snap their 4-game losing streak and end the reason on the right now when they host Henlopen North cellar-dweller Polytech Friday at 7 p.m.