Notre Dame starting quarterback, Kordell Theadford, has the speed and agility to do great things in the backfield for the Crusaders. Despite the fact that one player cannot determine the outcome of a game, he can definitely determine the outcome of a few big plays in order to assist his team in the winning direction.
Theadford did just that and proved to be too shifty to stop and too accurate with passes to maintain the lead long enough to prevail over the Blue Bombers, 25-13 in both teams' opening games of the season.
"We know that one person cannot win a game for us," Notre Dame of Green Pond head coach Chuck Muller said afterwards. "But he really did a great job of keeping some plays going tonight and that proved to be crucial for us in winning the game."
Theadford actually completed 9 of 25 passes for 197 yards, rushed for 58 yards and passed for three touchdowns in leading his team to the opening-night win.
"Their speed was the difference tonight," Palmerton head coach, Chris Walkowiak added. "Theadford is tough as can be and we knew it going in to the game. He broke our backs a few times because we had him contained and he just kept extending plays. Their team speed overall, was better than ours, too."
Notre Dame (1-0) dominated on both sides of the ball with their speed and ability up front, as well. The Crusaders compiled 364 yards of total offense to the Blue Bombers' 175.
There were also a few big plays that swung the momentum in the hosts' favor. Just when the locals pulled to within 12-7 in the early stages of the third frame, a profound offensive drive by Notre Dame swung that gate of opportunity closed for Palmerton, and they maintained their flow to the victory.
Running back Trey Watson pounded in from the nine yard line to cap off a 12-play, 75-yard drive to balloon the Crusaders' advantage back to 19-7 with 52 ticks remaining in the third.
After a Blue Bomber punt, Theadford completed a pass to Derek Gardner, in mid-stride, for a 67-yard touchdown reception, making it 25-7 with 11:15 to go in the game.
The Bombers saw Tre Nelson score from the 31-yard line with six and a half left, but it proved too little too late, as Muller's team continued on to the win.
"That's two years in a row that we got a win, so I'm happy with that fact," Muller mentioned. "I wasn't happy with our offense overall and the fact that we weren't blocking and some dropped balls, but we have to get better. Defensively, there were errors, too, but still, we're happy with the win, despite the errors."
Palmerton got a great scoring play in the second quarter, as starting quarterback Logan Lesher found Gerald Pereira down the left sideline, who sped away from his would-be tacklers to pay dirt to make things interesting. However, Walkowiak still saw issues to focus on improving.
"We got a lot of people banged up tonight, and we have plenty of things to work on, because we need to get better," he stated. "At the end, we had some opportunities to make some plays, but I'm really proud of the way our kids played all 48 minutes of the game. We made it a game into the fourth quarter and our kids deserve a lot of credit."