BANGOR - Bangor junior Josh Wing ran back the second half kickoff for a 90-yard touchdown and that was the jump start that the Slaters used for a 35-6 Colonial League win over Palmerton on Friday night.
Wing took the kickoff on his own 10-yard line and exploded right up the middle of the field taking just 12 seconds off of the clock for the first score of the night since the two squads battled to a 0-0 halftime tie. Russ Horn ran in for the two-point conversion and the Slaters were off to the races.
"I can't explain it," said Palmerton head coach Paul McArdle afterwards. "We're in all of these games and then there's a momentum switch and the wheels just fall off. It goes from 0-0 to 35-6. Last week the same thing happened. We're up one in the fourth quarter and we lose by two touchdowns. We're playing these good teams tough, but we've got to find a way to win right now."
"The kids played hard, they're playing hurt. The "Football Gods" are against us right now. All of our best kids and hardest workers are getting hurt."
After losing Levin Serfass and John Snyder for the season, Albert Bickowski was injured near the end of the first half, Jarrett Kleintop and Travis Labyack were banged up in the second half and all are key players for the Bombers.
Scott LaValva, the Slaters' go-to back, was held to just 43 yards on 10 carries in the first half, but exploded in the second half to finish with 189 yards on 24 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns on runs of 67 and 18 yards.
His first score gave Bangor a 14-0 lead with seven minutes left in the third quarter.
Palmerton actually pulled within a touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter when Christian Marcin raced 71 yards for a touchdown with the Bombers in a "Wildcat" formation.
The score stayed at 14-6 until LaValva broke loose for his second TD with 6:09 remaining in the game.
Bangor's Ryan Telepo fell on a Bomber fumble at the Palmerton 17. Two plays later, Ryan Fraunfelter scored on a 10-yard run and he also booted the PAT to make it 27-6.
With 2:29 left in the game, Bangor's Tony Bencivengo scored on a two-yard run and Drew Nicholas found Corey Nystrand open for the two-point conversion to end the scoring.
"I thought we were very sluggish in the first half," said Bangor head coach Frank Scagliotta. "You have to give some credit to Palmerton. They were playing very tough defensively and taking away a lot of the things we thought we could do. We made some small adjustments at halftime and basically tried to inspire the kids to come out and play.
"Certainly Wing's kick return was the trick.
"Scottie (LaValva) is a very good athlete, but Wing has added another dimension to our offense and Ryan Fraunfelter ran the ball well and made some great plays for us."