Wildcats Fall to Effingham in Defensive BattleThe Salem Wildcats offense never got traction and the end result was a 9-6 loss to the Effingham Flaming Hearts.
The Hearts scored on an eleven-yard pass from Dylan Wolf to Marcus Robinson late in the first quarter. A failed extra point kept the Cats within a score, but Effingham scored again on a field goal with 10:05 left in the first half. The Hearts wouldn't put any more points on the board, but they wouldn't have to.
Salem got on the board with 1:28 to play in the third quarter when quarterback Riley Martin found Nick Conklin in the end zone from eight yards out. Salem missed on the two-point conversion. The Wildcats had two scoring opportunities in the fourth quarter, but ran out of downs each time inside Effingham's 25-yard line.
Martin finished the night completing 19 of 47 passes for 164 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Seth Crain hauled in six passes for sixty yards while Conklin ended with seven receptions for 51 yards. Sophomore Dakota McDaneld was Salem's leading rusher, carrying six times for 41 yards.
Salem lost the turnover battle, though. Despite coming away with a fumble recovery and an interception, the Wildcats fumbled the ball away two times to go with Martin's interception.
Salem drops to 1-4 on the season and 1-1 in Apollo Conference play. The Cats travel to Mattoon on Friday.
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