Log In

Reset Password

Palisades pounds Palmerton

KINTNERSVILLE — Committing turnovers will always kill a team’s momentum, especially on the road. Palmerton found that out the hard way on Friday night against Colonial League leader Palisades.

The Bombers (4-3) gave the Pirates a short field for most of the night, but it was turnovers on their first two possessions that propelled Palisades (7-0) to the 62-6 Colonial League win.

Palmerton quarterback Takoah Guedes had two early misfires that resulted in interceptions, with the first one resulting in a pick-six by the Pirates Matthew McGrath. The converted turnovers gave Palisades an early 14-0 lead and it never looked back.

Palisades came into this one focused. In its last two games, Pirates head coach Kevin Ronalds mentioned that his squad gave up long drives to start the ballgame. This week, he wanted to see his team start fast.

“We really emphasized all week how important our first defensive possession was going to be tonight,” said Ronalds. “We were not good defensively the last two weeks on our opponents opening drives, and we knew that if Palmerton put together a long drive on us to start, they could gain momentum. I could see it from our kids on the field before the game that we were focused. I can usually tell how were going to play, and I had a good feeling about tonight.”

After jumping out to a 14-0 lead just three minutes into the game, the Pirates continued the onslaught. They added three more scores in the first quarter to gain a 35-0 advantage.

Besides McGrath, Jared Colletti, T.J. Rakowski, and Trey Gretzinger were all responsible for scores in the opening period. The most uncanny score of them all came on a botched snap on Palmerton’s fourth possession of the quarter. A high snap flew over Guedes’s head on the Bombers 37-yard line and was kicked around and mishandled until it ended up in the end zone where it was recovered by Colletti.

“Any game where you turn the ball over and it results in scores for the other team is huge, especially when it’s early on in the game,” said Palmerton head coach Chris Walkowiak. “We weren’t able to play our brand of football tonight and the credit has to go to them. That’s a really good football, there are as good as advertised.”

In the second quarter, Palisades put its power-run game into motion with two big runs for scores. A 35-yard score from Rakowsky followed by a 42-yard scamper by Pirates’ quarterback Ethan Bader extended the lead to 49-0.

The Bombers then were able to put together their best drive of the night from their own 22-yard line. They marched 78 yards in a little under two minutes, capping off the drive with a six-yard hookup between Guedes and Jordan Nelson for the score.

But on the ensuing kickoff, Colletti diced his way through the middle of the Palmerton coverage unit and was gone, going the distance for a 92-yard touchdown to make it 55-6.

“There’s a lot of football left to play, we’re still a 4-3 team right now,” said Walkowiak.

“We didn’t play well tonight, we know that, so we have to get back to work this week and correct our mistakes.”

ROUGH START… As noted, the Bombers did not get off to a good start in this one. Their first possessions of the game resulted in three interceptions and a fumble lost. Two of those turnovers resulted in a direct score, while the other setup the Pirates with good field position.

ALL THREE… Palisades scored every which way it could. The Pirates had six rushing touchdowns, an interception return for a touchdown, a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown, and a kickoff return for a touchdown.