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PALMYRA >> They've got playmakers all over the place on offense. They've got a defense, no matter what the 23 points the opponent put up on Friday night might indicate.

But most importantly, the Palmyra Cougars have a spotless 4-0 record and just fired a warning shot across the bow of the rest of the Mid-Penn Capital Division.

With a performance that may or may not have served as a "statement game" depending on who you talked to, Palmyra laid a thorough beating on perennial nemesis Trinity on Friday night at Buck Swank Stadium, routing the Shamrocks 49-23 to stay unbeaten with the midpoint of the regular season fast approaching.

It really wasn't that close. The Cougars piled up 453 total yards behind big nights from quarterback Tyler Gallagher, Wildcat QB Zack Yingst and running back Alon Rhette, who rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns and gave Palmyra a lead it would not surrender with a 3-yard TD run with 4:36 left in the first quarter.

Defensively, Palmyra was almost as good, holding a vaunted Trinity attack that averaged 42 points over the first three weeks to seven first-half points and without a first down until the second quarter.

"We made a heck of a statement, yeah," said Yingst, who rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown while also firing a 79-yard TD pass to Gallagher. "Trinity is an unbelievable team, they came out strong but we just came out stronger. We have a (heck) of a team this year and we just went (hard)."

Palmyra coach Chris Pope was a little more reluctant to say the Cougars made a statement with the lopsided win, but was nonetheless thrilled to see his squad continue its unblemished start.

"I guess you can call it a statement," Pope said with a shrug. "I was happy with how we passed the ball, we we've been working on that. And I thought we were able to run the football, but you know it's just gonna keep on getting bigger. The games will keep on getting bigger, and we're gonna run into some really good football teams."

The Cougars may have difficulty finding an opponent with as many weapons as they displayed on Friday night.

In addition to Yingst's and Rhette's heroics, Palmyra, which was without key cog Carl Reigle for much of the night with a leg injury, got touchdown connections of 24 and 47 yards from Gallagher and tight end Mason Cooper, and solid contributions in the run game from Devan and Mason Sosnoski, who saw added duty in Reigle's absence.

Its only issues came in the form of 10 penalties and a sloppy safety given to Trinity when Rhette dropped a Wildcat snap in the third quarter and was tackled in his own end zone.

"Our whole team is amazing," Yingst said. "It starts from the line. It's not really the skill guys, the line does all the work. But our backs, our wide receivers, our quarterback, we're all unbelievable. And we all have heart, that's the main thing. We may not be the best in the league, but we have the most heart."

Palmyra essentially settled the outcome in the first half, jumping out to a 28-7 lead by intermission with the help of Rhette's opening score, the two Gallagher-to-Cooper connections, and Yingst's 79-yard bomb to Gallagher that sent the faithful to their feet.

Trinity would get to within 35-17 after three quarters, but TD runs from Rhette and Yingst in the fourth thwarted any comeback thoughts Trinity (2-2) may have been entertaining.

"That's really nice," Pope said with a laugh, of being 4-0. "Obviously. As a coach you're always thinking about the next thing, but we're gonna enjoy this and then set our sights on Steel-High and work on a plan to be efficient against them."

Palmyra 49, Trinity 23

Trinity07106—23Palmyra1414714—49

First Quarter

P— Rhette 3 run (Harro kick)

P — Cooper 24 pass from Gallagher (Harro kick)

Second Quarter

P — Gallagher 79 pass from Yingst (Harro kick)

T — Moore 33 pass from Geisel (kick good)

P — Cooper 47 pass from Gallagher (Harro kick)

Third Quarter

P — D. Sosnoski 1 run (Harro kick)

T — Safety, Rhette tackled in end zone

T— Rigg 1 run (DeBastiani pass from Geisel)

Fourth Quarter

P — Rhette 1 run (Harro kick)

T — Boguski 15 pass from Geisel (pass failed)

P — Yingst 10 run (Harro kick)

TPFirst downs1217Rushes-yards19-1842-279Passing17-32-16-11-0Passing yards266174Total yards284453Punts3-33.41-23.0Fumbles-lost1-01-0Penalties-yards4-4810-95
Individual statistics

Rushing — T: Rigg 5-10, Ruiz 2-6, Geisel 6-3, Moody 1-2, Manetta 5- (-3). P: Yingst 7-114, Rhette 22-94, M. Sosnoski 5-31, Gallagher 3-16, D. Sosnoski 2-14, Reigle 1-7, Hurst 1-2,Harro 1-1

Passing — T: Geisel 17-32-1-266 P: Gallagher 5-9-0-95, Yingst 1-2-0-79

Receiving — T: DeBastiani 6-89, Boguski 4-79, Moore 4-57, Schlager 1-32, Rigg 1-7, Manetta 1-2. P: Cooper 2-71, Gallagher 1-79, Rhette 1-15, Hatcher 1-5, Robertson 1-4

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