Lightning delays Storm's fast start

SIDELL — Salt Fork’s football season opener played out like a soap opera: Viewers want to know what will happen next.

The state-ranked (Class 1A) Storm didn’t get a win or a loss in Friday night’s first game. Call it a no-decision.

At least until today.

Officials spotted lightning in the northern skies as Salt Fork and Arcola warmed up for the second half at Bob Yeazel Field. After waiting 45 minutes to see if it passed, the game was postponed until 5 p.m. today, still at Jamaica High School.

Salt Fork is 23 points closer to a win than Arcola and its first-year head coach, Zach Zehr. The Storm hold a 23-0 lead.

“It’s hard to comment because we’ve got to play a second half,” Salt Fork coach Brian Plotner said.

A Salt Fork program that recommitted itself in the offseason to opening up the offense did so during the season’s first 24 minutes. One highlight was a 43-yard scoring strike from first-time quarterback starter Jacob Hughes to Nick Hedges on a fly pattern down the left sidelines.

“Jacob threw the ball well,” Plotner said. “It’s nice to get off to a good start.”

Hughes completed 6 of 9 passes for 95 yards. Hedges had four receptions and Luke Maddox caught two passes.

Teammate Taylor Kirby scored two touchdowns and rushed for 134 yards on five carries.

“We’ve said Taylor is our most elusive open-field runner,” Plotner said.

By contrast, Salt Fork’s defense yielded 97 total first-half yards, though Plotner wasn’t totally satisfied.

“They hurt us with some dive-option things,” he said.

Quarterback Clayton Strader led the Purple Riders with 38 yards rushing. Zach Moutria gained 32 yards.

Salt Fork had first and goal from the 1 but fumbled the ball away in the second quarter. The turnover proved not to be costly. Tyler Johnson sacked Strader for a safety on the next play, and two plays after the subsequent free kick, Hughes hooked up with Hedges in stride for a TD.
 

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