Many of the faces which were responsible for Salem’s only unbeaten football team in 1943 were back for another great year in 1944.

Second-year coach Kenny Farrar guided the 1944 Wildcats to an 8-1 record and the North Egypt Conference championship with a perfect 6-0 record. The eight wins Salem posted that year tied the 1941 team for most school wins in a season. Only the 1985 and 1991 teams have surpassed that win total for a season. Both of those clubs won nine.

Defense was a big key to Salem’s success that season, as the Wildcats posted four shutouts. They blanked Lawrenceville 25-0, Fairfield 44-0, Mt. Carmel 20-0 and Benton 35-0. In four of the five other games played that season the Wildcats surrendered 13 points or less.

The lone loss Salem suffered that season came late in the year, a 19-0 setback at Danville.

As far as the NEC race was concerned, the key game that year was a 32-20 win over Flora. Future NFL Hall of Famer Jim Finks scored five touchdowns that evening to spark Salem to the win.

Finks was a big part of the Salem success that season, as he accounted for more than 2500 yards with his passing, rushing and kicking.

However, Salem was hardly a one-man show. Finks had a sound lineup around him. Other usual starters that season included: 1990 Hall of Fame inductee Keith Stonecipher at left end, George Beck at left tackle, William Woolridge at left guard, Robert Raver at center, Robert Davisson at right guard, Jim Kendrick at right tackle, Keith Doane at right end, George Hofstetter at quarterback, Joe Conley at left halfback, and Howard Wagoner at right halfback.