WILMINGTON — It’s not a typical Salesianum School offense.
Historically, coach Bill DiNardo likes to hit the ground running with his rushing attack.
But in Friday night’s Class 3A Week 1 showdown at Albessinio Stadium, Sallies let senior quarterback Conor Campbell loose on the way to a 42-13 victory over defending Division I state champion Sussex Central High.
Campbell rarely missed his target, completing 16 of his 21 pass attempts for 321 yards and five touchdowns with zero interceptions in the district win.
Cooper Brown rushed for 39 yards and a touchdown on his 14 attempts. The offense as a unit compiled 96 yards and a score on the ground.
The win moves Sallies to 2-0 on the season after last week’s 28-20 victory on the road at Cape Henlopen and avenges last year’s 19-7 loss to the Golden Knights.
Campbell threw for first half scores of 20, 37 and 38 yards to receivers Micah Wing, Nathaniel Ray and Sam Dumas. Wing and Dumas each finished the game with two receiving touchdowns.
Brown’s one-yard rushing score came with just 34 seconds left in the half.
Sussex Central (1-1), coming off a 20-0 shutout of William Penn High a week ago to kick off the season, struggled to get the ball moving in the first half. The Sallies defense forced four punts and surrendered just 81 total yards of offense in the first 24 minutes to take the 28-6 lead into the break.
Senior quarterback Zimir Gardner threw a 20-yard TD to Jaxon Steen in the third quarter and connected on another 50-yard pass to Golden Knights teammate Kristopher Shields in the first half to set up a nine-yard TD run by Shields a couple plays later.
Steen’s touchdown grab from Gardner with 6:01 left in the third quarter proved to be the only second half score for the Golden Knights.