Palmerton ends losing streak
RICH GEORGE/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Palmerton's Tre Nelson gets set to straight arm Wilson's Rashaan Herbert as he looks for running room in last night;'s 28-7 win.
It's been a long time since the Palmerton football team was able to celebrate a victory.
A month short of two years as a matter of fact.
The Blue Bombers got to taste a win on Friday night when they jumped on Wilson for three second half touchdowns for a 28-7 decision in a Colonial League contest.
Tre Nelson was the workhorse picking up 184 yards on 14 carries and scored two touchdowns in the second half.
The Bomber defense kept the Warriors from mustering any threat after halftime also.
After a scoreless first quarter, Wilson put together it's only long drive of the game going 70 yards in eight plays with Nick Labatch plunging in from the two. Ryan Grell's PAT made it 7-0 with just over nine minutes left in the half.
The Warriors were driving again on their next offensive series when Austin Cook intercepted a pass on his own five-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, the Bombers fumbled the snap giving Wilson the ball back on the Palmerton four. The Bombers "D" dug deep and held the Warriors, forcing Grell to attempt a 27-yard field goal. Nelson broke through and blocked it and one of his teammates picked it up and ran it out to the Wilson 43.
It was up to the Bomber defense once again after they were forced to punt. With just over a minute left in the half, Cook picked off his second pass of the night and ran it 42 yards into the end zone for the score. Jon Schwarz booted the PAT to tie it 7-7.
"We weren't happy at halftime, even with the score tied at 7-7," said Palmerton head coach Chris Walkowiak. "That was a huge touchdown by Tre Nelson on the fourth-and-one from 49 yards out. I said to Coach (Joe) Spitale that we had two downs to get the first. There was no thought of punting it at all. If we're going to win football games, we have to have confidence in ourselves and we responded."
With two minutes left in the third quarter, Nelson broke loose for the go-ahead touchdown and Schwarz kicked the point after to make it 14-7.
That seemed to give the Bombers the momentum they needed to carry them the rest of the way.
Nelson broke loose on a 61-yard touchdown run with 4:23 left in the game and Nick Sander returned a punt 55-yards for the final score with 2:59 left on the clock.
"Our defense did a good job of keeping us in this one," Walkowiak said. "When we fumbled the ball down there and held them out of the end zone and blocked the field goal. I thought that was the turning point of the game.
"I thought our special teams gave us a great lift, blocking the field goal and returning a punt for a touchdown. Our offense finally started to click in the second half. I can't say enough about Tre (Nelson). He's a special athlete. We're not afraid to use him anywhere. We challenged him at halftime to pick the team up and he did."
Walkowiak couldn't have been happier for the kids and the entire community to get the monkey off of their backs.
"We really have a lot of youth out there," said Walkowiak. "Our offensive line outside of Alex Raub is still young. We're working on developing chemistry. Our backfield is young with Zach Buck, a sophomore at quarterback,Tre (Nelson) is a junior and most of our receivers are underclassmen. But we responded in the second half."
Now the Bombers head to Salisbury for a showdown of 1-1 teams next Friday night and a chance to put a little streak together.