Prep football: Taylorsville quiets Hunter 27-8, earns playoff berth
Taylorsville • If the Taylorsville football team lost its quarterback on the first play from scrimmage in years past, that might have been all she wrote for the night.
Those days apparently are over.
The Warriors wrapped up a playoff spot and stayed undefeated in Region 2 with a 27-8 victory over Hunter on Friday night.
"Every year, we've been known as a losing team that doesn't compete in any way," Taylorsville wide receiver Emilio Salvador said. "This is the year it changes."
Salvador had quite a bit to do with the victory over the visiting Wolverines. Backup quarterback Alex Lehauli was at the helm after starter Toa Maumau went out with a sprained ankle. Lehauli found Salvador on the left sideline, and the 5-foot-8 senior did the rest by sprinting to the end zone to complete the 69-yard scoring pass for a 14-0 lead with 10 minutes, 39 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
The Warriors' third TD of the day, a 7-yard run by Lehauli, was set up by a 54-yard pass to Salvador, whose cuts downfield left more than one Hunter defender grasping air.
"He's a tremendous athlete. His nickname is Mighty Mouse, and he had no idea," Taylorsville coach Rodney Wells said. "He thought we were making fun of him. We showed him some old cartoons today, and I guess he came to save the day."
"They've been calling me that since Day 1, and they showed me Mighty Mouse today," Salvador said. "Now I know what they were talking about."
Hunter (4-4, 2-1) contributed more than a little to Taylorsville's quick start by coughing up the opening kickoff to give the Warriors a short field. The Wolverines also racked up 47 yards in penalties before the first quarter ended.
Hunter did get on the board via a 54-yard pass from McKay Meidlinger to Nathan Uhi with 10 seconds before intermission. And the visitors threatened to cut their deficit to a touchdown at the start of the third quarter.
But after moving the ball to the Warriors' 2, Taylorsville's defense stiffened and the Hunter offense couldn't get as close again.
"I feel better knowing that we're at least in the playoffs, but we've got a long way to go," Wells said.