BY JEFF FALK
LITITZ – The Palmyra football team got dumped on. And then the Cougars got wet.
Just further proof that when it rains, it pours.
In a driving, torrential down-pour – under near unplayable conditions – at Warwick High High School’s Grosch Field on Friday night, Palmyra endured a miserable conclusion to a marvelous season, during a 64-0, mercy-rule loss to the homestanding Warriors, in the opening round of the District Three Class AAAAA playoffs. The Cougars fell behind 36-0 in the first quarter, as Warwick scored on its inital five possessions – and touchdowns on each of its first three offensive snaps.
With the outcome, the 12th-seeded Cougars finished their year at 8-3. After opening the fall with seven straight wins, Palmyra went 1-3 over its last four contests.
During the 37 years that District Three has conducted its football tournaments, Lebanon County squads have now gone a combined 4-28 in them.
The Warriors needed just 1:57 of game clock to assume a 7-0, on a nine-yard, quick-screen pass from quarterback Joey McCracken to speedy receiver Trey Glass. The score was set up by a blocked punt, after Palmyra had gone three-and-out on the opening possession of the game.
As the rain intensified, things went quickly down hill for Palmyra. Thanks in part to their recovery of an on-side kick, the Warriors tallied two touchdowns in a span of nine seconds to push their lead to 22-0.
The Warriors’ second touchdown was a similar McCracken-to-Glass hook-up, only this time the quick screen covered 77 yards. Then on the very next snap following the on-side kick, McCracken and receiver Hilton Michael collaborated on a 39-yard scoring strike to the left corner of the end zone.
With 4:20 left in the opening quarter, the Warriors scored again, on a short TD burst by Nick Fucci. And before the first period was out, Warwick pushed its lead to 36-0 on a touchdown pass from McCracken to Hayden Rucci.
A pick-six by Warrior Justin Gerhart early in the second quarter made it 43-0. Warwick led 50-0 at the break.
Warwick out gained Palmyra 389 total yards to 31. The Cougars managed a negative-seven yards of rushing.
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2018 Palmyra Football Results
|7:00 PM||W 21-17|
|7:00 PM||W 31-10|
|7:00 PM||W 44-20|
|7:00 PM||W 28-21|
|7:00 PM||W 35-21|
|7:30 PM||W 42-36|
|7:00 PM||W 47-7|
|7:00 PM||L 14-28|
|7:00 PM||W 14-13|
|7:00 PM||L 6-42|
|7:00 PM||L 0-64|
Capital Division Final Standings
PIAA District Three
Final Class AAAAA Power Rankings
|23||Mechanicsburg Area Senior||2-||8-||0||0.396692||0.247312||0.579268||2.3||57.0||7.0||41.4|
|25||Spring Grove Area||1-||9-||0||0.338067||0.133721||0.587824||1.2||58.9||7.5||41.3|