John Buffone and Matt Catrillo break down three L-L football matchups for Week 7. Video by John Buffone.
PALMYRA – Coming off of its first loss of the season, Palmyra quickly got its momentum back on Friday night with a 42-14 win over Steel-High in a Mid-Penn Capital Division football game.
The Cougars (6-1, 3-1), who lost to Middletown 14-10 a week ago, took all the drama out of their Homecoming contest with three first-quarter touchdowns.
“We don't want to fizzle out in the second half,” Palmyra coach Chris Pope said of his Cougars' response to last week's loss. “It was important to bounce back. I was impressed with the way we came out. We had a good week of practice. No one was moping around.”
Each of the three first-quarter scores was, directly or indirectly, impacted by a batted ball.
Palmyra scored on its first possession, a seven-play, 70-yard drive, with an 8-yard run to the right by quarterback Peter Robertson. Earlier, Robertson’s deflected pass was caught by Sean Carter for a 10-yard gain, turning a potential 2nd-and-15 on the Cougars' side of the first into a more manageable 2nd-and-5 at the 50.
After forcing a three-and-out from Steel-High 2-5 (1-3), Palmyra drove to the end zone again. On a 3rd-and-7 at the Rollers' 21, Robertson had another pass tipped that Carter pulled in again for a 1st-and-goal at the 5. Carl Reigle ran it in on the next play for a 14-0 lead with 3:56 left in the first period.
“[Robertson] had a good game with good throws, and we got on the the good side of luck,” Pope said.
Steel-High's second possession again went three plays without gaining 10 yards. The snap on the punt, like it had been on the Rollers' first punt, was high and a bit slow to get to the punter. That was all Alon Rhette needed to block it, then recover it himself for a 21-0 lead with 1:12 left in the first.
“We actually weren't trying to block it,” Pope said. “We always send two in case of a bad snap.”
After outgaining Steel-High 119 to minus-3 in the first 12 minutes, Palmyra scored on three of its four possessions of the second quarter to incur the mercy rule by halftime. Robertson had a 6-yard touchdown run, Reigle scored on a 15-yard run, and Rhette reached the end zone on a 13-yard run in the second period, putting the host squad up 42-6 at intermission.
The Cougars' defense added three interceptions in the second quarter, two by Nate Hawkins and one by Grant Haus.
Steel-High did break through with a 75-yard touchdown pass from Steven Pryor to Jarvai Flowers in the second quarter.
With the mercy rule in effect the whole second half, and some short fields set up by the interceptions, Palmyra's individual statistics did not reflect their domination of the game. Robertson was 9-for-11 for 128 yards without an interception. Alon Rhette led the Cougars with 47 rushing yards on 10 carries. Carter had three receptions for 36 yards, while Braden Vernet had two catches for 41 yards.
Flowers caught four passes for 103 yards for Steel-High. Pryor was 8-for-12 for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
Palmyra 42, Steel-High 14
Steel-High _ 0 _ 6 _ 0 _ 8 _ — _ 14
Palmyra _ 21 _ 21 _ 0 _ 0 _ — _ 42
P — Peter Robertson 8 run (Griffin Weidler kick), 8:16
P — Carl Reigle 5 run (Weidler kick), 3:56
P — Alon Rhette recovered blocked punt in end zone (Weidler kick), 1:27
P — Robertson 6 run (Weidler kick), 6:15
P — Reigle 15 run (Weidler kick), 1:10
SH — Jarvai Flowers 75 pass from Steven Pryor (kick failed), 0:47
P — Rhette 13 run (Weidler kick), 0:11
SH — Marcellus Coleman 10 pass from Pryor (Coleman pass from Pryor), 8:33
_ S-H _ Pal
First downs _ 4 _ 14
Rushes-yards _ 17-58 _ 33-111
Passing _ 8-13-3 _ 9-11-0
Passing yards _ 141 _ 128
Total yards _ 199 _ 239
Punts _ 3-19.3 _ 3-27
Fumbles-lost _ 1-0 _ 2-0
Penalties-yards _ 8-67 _ 8-55
Rushing — SH: Jarvai Flowers 14-11, Isaih Lockette 1-52, Steven Pryor 2-(-5); Pal: Alon Rhette 10-47, Carl Reigle 10-38, Peter Robertson 4-29, Grant Haus 1-(-7), Robert Taylor 2-4, Dylan Templin 1-4, Caleb Hawkins 1-(-10), Eddie Cannon 4-8..
Passing — SH: Steven Pryor 8-12-3, 141 yards, 2 TD, Jarvai Flowers 0-1-0; Pal: Peter Robertson 9-11-0, 128 yards..
Receiving — SH: Jarvai Flowers 4-103, Isaih Lockette 2-4, Javion Grant 1-24, Marcellus 1-10; Pal: Alon Rhette 2-19, Braden Vernet 2-41, Sean Carter 3-36, Kyle Wailweski 1-35, Carl Reigle 1-(-3).
Interceptions — Pal: Nate Hawkins 2, Grant Haus 1.