SALEM - The Salem Quakers found themselves in a familiar situation at half-time Friday at Reilly Stadium. Unfortunately, it was a little too similar to to their home opener a week ago.
Carrollton jumped out to a big lead early and cruised to a 42-6 victory.
Down 35-0 through 24 minutes, Salem found itself with yet another mountain to climb.
"It was two different games," Salem head coach Ron Johnson said of comparing Friday night with a 34-0 hole to the Niles Red Dragons last week.
"Our performance was significantly different. So we had to challenge ourselves to play better football. We did some things better in the second half but we still have a long way to go."
As they did against Niles, the Quakers came out in the second half and moved the football in their Northeastern Buckeye Conference opener, but again it was too little, too late.
"We still have a lot to work to do," Johnson said. "We can't shoot ourselves in the foot over and over. Carrolton is a good football team. They're very fundamentally sound and that's where we aspire to be someday."
Following a Salem punt, Carrolton found pay-dirt in just two plays.
Zade Dietz connected with Andy Fuhrer for a 19-yard score to give Carrolton the early lead.
"They had guys that really made plays tonight," Johnson said. "Obviously we weren't out of position, but when the ball is in the air it belongs to any guy, and their guy went up and made a play. That's what we have to do. We have to make plays."
The Quakers showed their mettle on the ensuing drive, moving the ball inside of the Carrolton 10, but were unable to punch it in for a score.
"That was real big," Johnson said. "We should have stuck it in there and we didn't. We had another self-inflicted wound. We had first-and-goal at the four and had a procedure penalty. It's a big deal that we allowed that to happen," Johnson said.
Dietz made the Quakers pay just 15 seconds into the second quarter when he made his way through Salem defenders and into the end zone on a 34-yard scamper.
Methodically, Carrolton continued to move the ball and scored again with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Dietz to Steve Mohn.
Penalties and miscues plagued a Salem offense that showed it was capable of moving the football at times. The Quakers found holes in the defense both through the air and on the ground, but self-inflicted wounds prevented the offense from doing much in the first half.
Salem's turnover in the second quarter killed a lengthy drive that brought them into Warriors territory and resulted in more Carrollton points.
Dietz found a streaking Caleb Moyer for a 62-yard touchdown pass to put Carrolton up 28-0.
Dietz threw for 138 yards and two scores on the night. He also had 12 carries for 137 additional yards and two more touchdowns.
Carrolton didn't take their foot off of the gas pedal, putting up another score before the half on a 31-yard touchdown run by Tyler Dodd.
Dodd and Jake Peterson were the focal point of the offense in weeks prior, but this week Dietz took the reigns for much of the first half and led them to a 42-point effort and churned out 468 yards of offense total.
"He had been running it well," Johnson said. "They just locked on and got us blocked. That kid is going to be a good player and they've got good guys around him. They have a chance to win some games this year."
Dietz found the end zone to open the second half on a 17-yard run before giving way to the backup Luke McNutt.
The Quakers' offense fared better in the second half and finally found the end zone with 1:55 remaining in the fourth quarter as Trace Jenkins found Brooks Bezon for a 19-yard score.
"We have to get ourselves ready to play Marlington next week," Johnson said. "We have to get ourselves ready to play an exceptionally good football team."