The road will be the home of the Salem Community High School football team the next two weeks as the Wildcats look to capture a postseason berth.
Tonight, Salem (4-3) travels to Freeburg (5-2) and the Wildcats could become playoff eligible with a victory. A win in the season finale at Charleston (1-6) next week would clinch a spot. A loss to Freeburg would put Salem in a must-win position at Charleston and dependence on playoff power points.
The Wildcats are hoping to have Caden Bee back in the lineup after he missed last week’s 46-7 loss to Columbia in Salem’s Homecoming game. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound senior leads the Wildcats in receiving (16 catches for 322 yards and four touchdowns), is second in rushing (365 yards and six TDs) and his 66 tackles on defense is also a team high.
Sophomore quarterback Sam Greene has connected on 57 of his 104 attempts for 887 yards and 10 TDs with nine players having caught passes for the Wildcats. Caden Harris (11 for 204, three TDs) and Jacob Koehnke (11 for 126) are among them.
Brayden Smith is Salem’s leading rusher on the season with 532 yards on 96 carries and Harris has scored seven touchdowns while running 40 times for 361 yards.
Defensively, Caleb Smith has amassed 59 tackles, Brayden Smith 57, Brayden Aaron 46, Gage Eddings 38, Blane Phillips 36, Harris 34 and Connor Tennyson 25.
Since a 20-16 loss to Breese Central knocked them out of the Cahokia Conference lead, the Midgets have won three in a row with wins over Columbia (21-14), Roxana (41-13) and East Alton-Wood River (42-6).
Quarterback Landon Funderburg has completed 68 passes in 132 attempts for 1,052 yards and thrown for eight touchdowns. He’s passed mostly to Brett Holcomb (23 catches for 453 yards) and Eli Hoerner (22 for 428, three TDs). Hoerner (301 yards and three TDs) is Freeburg’s second leading rusher behind Ethan Williams (492 yards, eight TDs).
The conference champion will be decided tonight and it could be outright or up to a three-way tie. League leader Breese Central (4-0) is at Columbia (3-1) and Freeburg is also 3-1 in conference play. The Wildcats are 2-2.