The old cliche "Offense wins games, defense wins championships" held out to be true on Friday night in the Palisades-Palmerton Colonial League football battle.
The Blue Bombers were stopped a couple of times by the Pirates in the first half, but managed to score one touchdown.
The Pirates were able to put one scoring drive together in the second half, but the Bombers' defense stood tall to stop them on other opportunities.
In the end, it was Nick Carullo's extra point kick after the Palmerton TD that gave the Bombers a 7-6 victory.
"We did bend in the second half, but we didn't break," said Palmerton head coach Chris Walkowiak. We had two key interceptions and stopped the bleeding when we had to.
"I really have to give our defense credit. We got some line pressure and our secondary came up big for us."
Neither team mustered much of an offense in the first half until the Bombers took over on their own 43. A 10-play drive was kept alive by two 25-yard pass completions by Cody Grohotolski to Monte Szukics and Mitchell good, respectively. It ended at the Palisades one, however, when the Bombers were stopped on downs with 1:01 left in the first quarter.
The Bombers were given great field position as the second quarter began when Tanner Gutekunst made a fair catch on the Pirates' 24 after a poor punt. The drive was stopped again on downs at the Palisades four.
Great defense gave Palmerton the ball again after another punt at the Palisades 22. On first down, Grohotolski threw a perfect pass to Szukics that resulted in a 22-yard touchdown with 8:07 left in the half. Carullo's kick made it 7-0.
With 54 seconds left in the half, the Bombers were stopped again on fourth down at the Pirates' 25 and wound up taking the one-touchdown lead into halftime.
""We left some points off the board," said Walkowiak. "We made some mistakes and we have to correct those. We got down inside the 20 twice and were stopped inside the 30. That's definitely an area of concern for us."
Palmerton drove down to the Pirates' 33 on the first drive of the second half, but ran out of downs again, setting up the lone Palisades scoring drive of the night.
The Pirates put together a 16-play, 67-yard drive that ended when Justin Marsh scored from three yards out with 2:09 left in the third quarter. Justin Colletti's PAT was wide left keeping the Bombers ahead by one (7-6).
Interceptions by Alex Vignone with 5:48 remaining and Carullo with 3:51 left were b ig for the Palmerton defense. Then after one more stand, holding the Pirates on downs at the Palmerton 39, Grohotolski picked up a first down on four straight keepers to run out the clock.
"Once again, the defense rose to the occasion, made plays when they had to when it really counted in the fourth quarter," said Walkowiak. "It was a great effort by the kids."