NEW CASTLE —
Joe Salmen, a 6-0, 170-pound senior quarterback/defensive back, engineers the Union attack. Salmen has completed 67 passes in 142 attempts for 1,089 yards with 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He ranks second in the county in passing yards behind Neshannock’s Ernie Burkes (1,346).
“Salmen is a playmaker,” Bradley said. “He’s had some outstanding runs this year and he throws the deep ball well.
“We need to take that away. He can take it the distance, too, when he runs. He’s a good athlete and a good decision maker.”
Drew Robinson, the coach’s son, paces the Scotties’ ground game with 1,129 rushing yards on 130 carries. The senior running back leads the team in touchdowns with 15 and stands third in the county in scoring with 92 points.
Bradley was particularly impressed by Drew’s 75-yard touchdown run in the regular season finale at Neshannock. Drew took a direct snap in the shotgun with Salmen faking like the snap went over his head. The Lancers seemed to have Drew pinned in, but he reversed his field, got a couple of blocks and dashed in for the long scoring run.
“Drew Robinson is a home run hitter,” Bradley said. “He gets to the outside and he can be gone.
“We’ll have to stay in our pursuit lanes. He can sure take it the distance like he did against Neshannock; he’s got that big-play potential.”
Union’s Benjamin Young, a 6-1, 175-pound wide receiver/defensive back, ranks fourth in the county in receiving with 13 catches for 322 yards.
NO TIME FOR NERVES
The Scotties started slow last week before Drew Robinson recovered a fumble and raced 24 yards for a score in the second quarter. Salmen’s conversion kick tied the score to help get Union going.
“We were able to capitalize on a big play and stem the tide so to speak,” Stacy Robinson said. “It was the first playoff game, the lights are on, the pressure is on. But I don’t think those type of jitters will be the case this week.
“I think we got the playoff jitters out last week. Time becomes more precious when there’s less of it to waste. We want to make sure we come out playing to the best of our ability. That will give us the best chance to win.”