SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Since Earle Bruce and Blaine Morton were leading the Quakers (from 1957 to 1962) to six straight winning seasons in a row fifty-nine years ago, Salem hasn’t had a stretch of four winning campaigns in five years until now. Salem can extend that feat with another strong push this year.

“We have very high expectations,” says coach Ron Johnson. “The chemistry [with this group], our senior experience and the history of success are the strengths of this team.”

Coach Johnson begins his 11th season with a number of key returnees led by quarterback Jackson Johnson and Donnie Oesch as well as Caden Swiger and Ross Davidson.

Johnson completed 71.5% of his tosses (243-340) last fall for 2905 yards and 33 touchdowns compared to just 5 interceptions. He also gained 1321 yards on the ground while scoring an additional 20 touchdowns. Jackson punted the ball away 22 times for an average of 40.8 yards.

Johnson must rely on other receivers this season as the school’s record-breaking pass catcher, Blaize Exline (125 catches, 1424 yards, 18 TDs), has graduated.

Caden Swiger hauled in the second-most passes on the team with 37 for 447 yards (5 TDs). Donnie Oesch also made 13 receptions for 121 yards.

Running back Dominic Maniscalco is also back in the mix this summer. As a sophomore, he gained an average of 6.8 yards per carry (71 attempts, 482 yards).

Tackle Ryan Kamperman is the lone returning starter along the offensive line. Among the four graduated starters led by Caleb and Carson Stockman, the quartet combined to start 124 varsity games.

The team’s strong safety Ross Davidson, as a sophomore, intercepted three passes a year ago. He’ll be joined in the secondary by senior free safety Jackson Johnson. At linebacker, a pair of seniors return in Ethin Whitman (42 tackles) and Brandon Van Horn (63 tackles). Whitman is the middle linebacker in defensive coordinator Jake Carner’s 4-3 alignment.

Up front, the Quakers have an experienced bunch led by seniors Isaac LaFlame (27 tackles), John Kidd and Gavin Wilms.

Salem’s quest for their fourth consecutive playoff appearance begins with a visit from Crestview on Thursday, August 18.

Salem Quakers
Fast Facts
Head Coach: Ron Johnson, 11th season with Salem (55-52)
2021 Record: 8-4 (3-3), T-3rd place in EBC
Last 5 Years: 34-21 (63.6%)
Home Field: Sebo Stadium
League: Eastern Buckeye Conference
Base Offense: Multiple Spread
Base Defense: 4-3

Returning Starters
Offense: 5
Defense: 7

2021 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 40.9 (4th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 23.6 (26th in Area)
Total Offense: 460.9
Rushing Offense: 216.3
Passing Offense: 244.6

2021 Individual Leaders
Passing: Jackson Johnson – 2905 yards, 71.5% (243-340), 33 TDs
Rushing: Jackson Johnson – 1321 yards, 6.8 avg, 20 TDs
Receiving: Blaize Exline – 1424 yards, 11.4 avg, 18 TDs
Tackles: Ross Davidson – 117
Quarterback Sacks: Damon Wolfe – 7
Interceptions: Ross Davidson, 6

2021 Results
Ursuline 54 Quakers 35*
Quakers 48 Woodridge 14*
West Branch 43 Quakers 42 OT
Quakers 35 Canton South 32
Carrollton 28 Quakers 26
Quakers 35 Marlington 17
Quakers 66 Minerva 0
Alliance 27 Quakers 21 OT
Quakers 41 Firestone 0
Quakers 42 East Liverpool 20
Quakers 62 Beaver Local 35
Quakers 38 Crestview 13
*-playoff

2021 EBC Standings
West Branch – 6-0 (13-1)
Carrollton – 4-2 (8-4)
Salem – 3-3 (8-4)
Canton South – 3-3 (7-4)
Alliance – 3-3 (3-7)
Marlington – 2-4 (3-7)
Minerva – 0-6 (0-10)

2022 Schedule
Aug. 18 – Crestview
Aug. 26 – at Beaver Local
Sept. 2 – East Liverpool
Sept. 9 – Canton Central Catholic
Sept. 16 – at Padua Franciscan
Sept. 23 – Alliance
Sept. 30 – Minerva
Oct. 7 – Carrollton
Oct. 14 – at Marlington
Oct. 22 – at West Branch