Miscues fatal to Bombers
BANGOR - With Phil Vass in the backfield, Bangor doesn't need a short field to score.
But the Slaters got the benefit of good field position on four of the first five drives and took advantage of it, jumping out to a quick 26-0 lead on their way to a 47-12 mercy rule win over Palmerton.
The Bombers committed three turnovers in the first quarter. Each led to a Bangor touchdown as Vass ran for three scores in the first period and four in the game.
"You can't have those starts against any teams," said Palmerton head coach Chris Walkowiak. "Momentum and field position just killed us in the first quarter. And turnovers. We shot ourselves in the foot and a good team like that, they're going to rip you apart."
The Slaters created their own good field position for their first touchdown. After taking the opening possession to the Palmerton 11-yard line before getting stopped on down, the Bangor defense forced a three and out. The offense got the ball back 20 yards from pay dirt.
Vass carried the ball on each play of a five-play drive, scoring on a 1-yard run.
Palmerton (0-7) fumbled the ensuing kickoff, leading to a three-play, 23-yard scoring drive capped by Vass 10-yard run with 3:22 left in the first quarter.
An interception on Palmerton's next play from scrimmage gave Bangor the ball back at the Blue Bomber 22-yard line. Vass carried all four times, scoring from one-yard out for a 20-0 lead.
The Bombers had the ball for two plays on their next drive before giving up a fumble. The Slaters, starting at their own 30-yard line, scored in one play. Quarterback Brett Albinson hit Isreal Alvarez for the touchdown and a 26-0 lead with 26 seconds left in the first quarter.
Coming off their first loss of the season, the Slaters (6-1) got off to just the kind of start they were looking for. They lost to undefeated Catty last week and have Northern Lehigh next week.
"We've always had trouble rebounding after a loss," said head coach Frank Sacagliotta. "These kids are a different bunch. They jumped on it right away."
"It was important to get that lead," said Vass. "We didn't want to give them any confidence."
Bangor added another touchdown at the end of the first half on a methodical 14-play drive that included seven Vass runs and used up four minutes and 11 seconds. Ablinson hit Alvarez for the score and a 33-0 lead with one second left in the half.
The Slaters invoked the mercy rule with a 36-yard Vass touchdown with 2:26 into the second half. The junior came out of the game with 21:24 left to play. He amassed 204 yards on 30 carries.
"Vass is really good," said Walkowiak. "He ran hard. He ran through our tackles. He got a lot of yards after we had him hit in the backfield."
The Slaters added another score on a 25-yard Michael Clarke run for a 47-0 lead in the third quarter.
The Bombers got on the board in the fourth. Tre Nelson scored from four yards out with 10:39 left in the game. Isaac George made it 47-12 with a five yard run with 1:22 left to play.
Despite being winless, the Bombers, which have a difficult remaining schedule, aren't ready to give up on the season.
"We talked about our goals Monday - playing hard and playing for pride," said Walkowiak. "There's still a lot to play for. We're not packing it in."