Max Jacques made a very convincing case for the 2009 NH Mr. Football Award this afternoon, as he rushed for 331 yards on just 21 carries, including 4 TD's in Salem's 49-35 win over Nashua South.
Jacques showed tremendous speed and toughness, breaking a number of big runs against a banged up Purple Panther defense. On his first 2 carries of the second half he ran for an 80 yard touchdown, and a 67 yard touchdown. After South scored a TD to cut the Blue Devil lead to just two, at 21-19, Jacques once again went off. The junior running back took the ball 89 yards for his fourth TD run of the ballgame to make it 28-19.
Jacques carried the ball 21 times, Frederick had 17 carries, Sobrado had 7 rushes and Cannone and Darren Brown each ran the ball once. That's a total of 47 times that Salem ran the football at South's defense. And this was a Purple Panther defense that was without its star linebacker, senior captain Demitri Venetos who missed the entire game with an injury. Michael Brannen, South's starting nose tackle, was also injured during the first half and was out of the lineup for all of those big runs by Jacques.
Still, Salem has really made a statement over the past 2 weeks, by defeating both of the teams that mathced up in last year's D-I title game. They beat Pinkerton 24-7 last week, with the Astro's only TD coming late after the outcome had already been decided. And today they rolled over South in convincing fashion. They won 49-35, and were up 42-19 midway through the fourth quarter before the Purple Panthers scored a pair of TD's in garbage time.
The icing on the cake however, came with Salem on defense. South had the ball down 3 scores with about 9 minutes left, so they needed a TD to have any chance. They drove all the way down inside the Blue Devil 30 yard line. Farkas dropped back, and threw to his intended receiver Nilsson Basora. It was a low through though, and it was picked off at the 16 yard line by who else? Max Jacques! The INT sealed the win, and capped a HUGE day at the office for Jacques. What did Salem's stud back have to say after the game? "I give all the credit to my line," he said.