LaValva's five TDs tops Blue Bombers
RICH GEORGE/Special to the TIMES NEWS Palmerton's Levi Serfass (55) moves in to hit Bangor quarterback Scott Lavalva as Albert Bickowski (center) and Alex Vignone (33) move in.
Palmerton's football team didn't get to see Bangor junior quarterback Scott LaValva in person at all last year, but they had heard a lot about him.
With the Slaters the bye team for the Blue Bombers in 2008, the two teams didn't meet.
LaValva put on quite an exhibition as he scored all five of his team's touchdowns in a 33-18 Colonial League win to spoil Palmerton's Homecoming game.
"He's definitely as good as advertised," said McArdle afterwards. "He's as good and as tough as they say he is and he's only a junior."
LaValva only threw 10 passes on the night and completed six of them for 139 yards. Where he was most impressive was running the ball out of the shotgun carrying 25 times for 112 yards and finding the end zone five times.
The Bombers trailed 27-12 at halftime and actually stepped it up a bit defensively in the second half.
After a scoreless third quarter, Christian Marcin broke loose on a 22-yard run and Joe Weber hit Travis Labyack for a 27-yard completion down to the Slaters' one. Weber snuck it in from there with 9:35 remaining. A pass for the two-point conversion that would have pulled Palmerton within a touchdown failed leaving the score at 27-18.
LaValva took over carrying the ball six out of seven times on his team's next drive and scored his final TD of the night on a 20-yard keeper with 5:45 remaining for a 33-18 advantage.
The Bombers had three more chances to score before time expired, but had to punt once, ran out of downs on the Bangor 18 and Weber had a desperation pass intercepted allowing the Slaters to run out the clock.
"I'm happy with our kids effort, especially in the second half," said McArdle. "For the first time, we played like we were capable of, but it was maybe a little too late. Hopefully we can take something good out of this"
The Slaters scored right off the opening kickoff as LaValva snuck over from the one and Monica Weil booted her first of three PAT's on the night making it 7-0.
The Bombers marched right down the field on their first possession also with Weber hooking up with Labyack for a 40-yard TD on a crucial fourth down. The kick failed leaving Palmerton trailing 7-6.
The Slaters got good field position with a returned punt to the Bombers' 13. On first down, LaValva scooted into the end zone and Weil's kick gave Bangor a 14-6 lead with 2:05 still left in the opening quarter.
Bangor took advantage of its first interception and LaValva scored on a 28-yard run on the first play of the second quarter. Weil's kick made it 21-8.
Palmerton bounced back and put together one of its best offensive drives of the season. It marched 67 yards on 11 plays (all rushes) with Marcin going over from the two with 5:08 left in the third quarter. A pass for the two-point conversion failed, leaving them trail 21-12.
LaValva wasn't done yet, however as he ran in from five yards out before the half giving the Slaters a 27-12 cushion.