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Bombers are scary good against NS

Palmerton is known for its horror attractions during the Halloween season. People come from all over to get scared at the Halls of Horror or the Waldorf Estate of Fear.

Fittingly on Friday the 13th, North Schuylkill found out that there is another scary attraction within the Palmerton Borough limits - the explosive offense of the Blue Bombers’ football team.

The Palmerton offense struck fear into the Spartans’ defense throughout the night, putting up 48 points and 541 yards of total offense to come away with a haunting 24-point Colonial-Schuylkill Red Division victory.

It didn’t take long for the Bombers’ offense to start slashing its way down the field, led by their All-State quarterback Matt Machalik and his backfield mate running back Ty Sander. A 33-yard gash from Machalik would lead to a six-yard Machalik score a few plays later to give Palmerton a 8-0 lead at the 7:47 mark.

On the Bombers’ second possession, a 29-yard Machalik rushing score extended the lead to 16-0 after their second straight successful two-point conversion attempt. The steady grinding runs from Sander mixed in with the explosive and elusive runs around the outside from Machalik got the Palmerton offense off to a hair-raising start.

“We were physical right from the start, and that was what we really talked about and focused on all week was coming out and being physical and then finishing off our drives - which is what we were able to do early to set the tone,” said Palmerton head coach Chris Walkowiak. “Credit the guys up front. They came out and played physical football and helped us get the run game going and helped us create some big plays.”

The North Schuylkill offense would then start to put together some explosive plays of its own, marching quickly down the field on its second possession spurred by big runs from quarterback Caden Mengel, who finished off the drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Collin McGee. After forcing a Palmerton interception in the end zone on a fourth-and-four from the NS 15-yard line, the Spartans would once again go right down the field, connecting on a 78-yard pass play from Mengel to the speedy and dangerous Joey Flail to cut the Bombers lead to 16-14.

That’s when the Palmerton offense would once again up it’s fear factor, using two trick plays to gain separation from the Spartans. A flea flicker at the 8:03 mark that resulted in a 51-yard pitch and catch from Machalik to tight end Emilio Gonzalez would put Palmerton up, 24-14 after another successful two-point attempt.

“Credit has to go to coach Versuk on those two-point play designs tonight,” said Walkowiak. “He does a great job with our skill guys and he has something new for us every week. The kids responded to those play calls tonight and executed.”

After North Schuylkill added a field goal to make it a one-score game, Palmerton would reach into its bag of tricks yet again. This time, a half back pass from Sander to Brayden Hosier from 28 yards out resulted in a score to make it 32-17 with 1:20 remaining in the half.

“When I got the pass from Matt (Machalik) and I saw Brayden (Hosier) was open I just tried to throw it as best as I could to get it to him, so he could score,” said Sander. “It was a huge momentum boost for us to score right before the half like that and that really fired us up going into the locker room.”

The Spartans kept trying to stay in the game, scoring on their opening drive of the third quarter on another Mengel and Flail connection that made it 32-24, but as he seems to always do, Machalik had an answer as he went 66 yards to the house on the first play of Palmerton’s ensuing possession to extend the lead back to 40-24 with 8:06 left in the third frame.

The Palmerton defense would then really dig in as it held North Schuylkill scoreless the rest of the way.

MATTY VOORHEES … Jason Voorhees is well known in horror movie genre for slashing his victims in the Friday the 13th film series, but it was Machalik that did the slashing on this Friday the 13th as he finished with 240 yards rushing on just 12 carries and three touchdowns and also threw for 161 yards and two touchdowns.

TWO FOR THE MONEY … Palmerton attempted six two-point conversions on the night, converting all six successfully.

THE RECORDS … Palmerton sits alone at the top of the Red Division with an 8-0 overall record and a 5-0 division mark. North Schuylkill falls to 6-2.

North Schuylkill's Ricky Halford is wrapped up by Palmerton defenders, from left, Zack Anthony, Clayton Christman and Emilio Gonzales. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS