Palmerton Head Coach Chris Walkowiak has always prided himself on the fact that his football teams were sound defensively. Last week however, it was the offense that catapulted the Bombers to a 21-0 lead and ultimately a 21-14 upset win over rival Northwestern. The win gave the Bombers a 4-2 (4-2 Colonial) record and is the reason why their game against Bangor (6-0, 6-0 Colonial) Friday night is the week seven TIMES NEWS Game of the Week.
Palmerton looks like they're starting to figure out their team and it showed last week against a talented Tigers squad. The Bombers' offense starting to show some signs of life and it couldn't have come at a better time with a big and powerful Slaters squad coming to town. The 21 points were the second most they have scored in a game all season.
"I think the big key for us last week was that we were finally able to get our offense going," said Walkowiak. "The offense gave us a nice spark jumping out to a 21-point lead and it was nice to get the 'D' off the field. We could have played a lot better in the second half, but we still controlled the ball and got key first downs when we needed to."
Coach Walkowiak also explained how the Palmerton offensive line was a big reason for the Bombers' success in the win over the Tigers.
"That was probably the best all-around game the offensive line had this season," said Walkowiak. "They did a good job of pushing the opposition off the ball. We didn't have one guy with big numbers, but we had a couple of guys with 50 yards, which was a big improvement over the previous two weeks."
The Bombers' offensive and defensive line will have to apply the same effort this week. The reason being Bangor has the biggest line in the Colonial League this season, averaging 268 pounds across the board. The Slaters also have two tight ends that weigh in over 200 pounds and measure 6-4 a piece.
With a line like that, a team could probably stick a nobody in the backfield and they would be successful running the football. Luckily for the Slaters, they definitely have a somebody in running back Josh Wing. Bangor's top play-maker Wing has already eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark this season and has scored 14 touchdowns. Wing also went ballistic on the previously undefeated Catasauqua Rough Riders last week, running for a Colonial League record 337 yards and three touchdowns.
If anybody can stop Wing and his monster offensive line, Palmerton is a good candidate. The Bombers held the explosive Ty Cunningham of Northwestern to just five yards on the ground and limited the Tigers to just 26 yards rushing in all. Palmerton has leaned on its defense all year. At the same time, Coach Walkowiak knows his offense must be able to put points on the board to compete with the Slaters.
"We need to keep executing on the offensive side of the football,"added Walkowiak. "Last week we improved our offensive game, but that was last week.
"We told our kids at our mid-season meeting that we need to take it one game at a time for the second half of the year. We control our own destiny, and the kids like the fact that they have to take ownership and a credibility for what we do at practice and on game day. If we play the way we know how to things will take care of themselves."