BY JEFF FALK
Have enough fun and things start to get serious. Palmyra is enjoying a whale of a football campaign.
On Friday night at Buck Swank Stadium, the Cougars put together one of their strongest efforts of the season and dusted Steel-High 34-6. The victory ran Palmyra’s record to 5-0, one of its best starts in program history.
The setback dropped Steel-High to 1-4 overall and 0-4 in the Capital Division of the Mid-Penn Conference.
Defensively, the only score that Palmyra surrendered to the Rollers came on a kickoff return. Offensively, the Cougars were up to their same old tricks.
Senior workhorse Preston Bare gained 230 yards and tallied a trio of touchdowns. The Cougars grabbed a 6-0 lead with seconds left in the opening stanza when quarterback Mason Laudermilch hooked up with Jordan Harro.
Palmyra put up more than 450 yards of total offense, all but 100 of which came on the ground. The Cougars upped their advantage to 13 points just before half when Bare ripped off a long scoring run.
Then in the third period, Bare scored on a couple of short runs to all but settle the outcome.
Elsewhere in scholastic football on Friday night:
Garden Spot 48, Lebanon 13
At Lebanon Alumni Stadium, the Cedars were confronted with another dose of hard reality, and found it hard to swallow. Lebanon was out-classed and out-manned by the Spartans and suffered its third straight setback.
The loss dropped Lebanon to 2-3 on the year, 0-2 in Section Two of the Lancaster-Lebanon League and left it with little margin for error in its quest to qualify for the District Three Class AAA postseason. Garden Spot moved to 4-1.
Garden Spot tallied touchdowns on its first two possessions and led 27-0 at halftime. Lebanon’s deficit ultimately reached 48-6.
The Cedars scored first in the second half, on a long touchdown jaunt by sophomore Mark Pyles. Lebanon’s other score came in the waning seconds on an Alex Trautman touchdown strike to Steven Padillas.
Wilson 42, Cedar Crest 6
In West Lawn, the Falcons put up little resistance against the Bulldogs. With the defeat, Cedar Crest slipped to 0-5 on the season and 0-2 in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.
Cedar Crest trailed 28-0 at the break. But the Falcons drove the second-half kickoff nearly 80 yards to get a scoring pass from back-up quarterback Nick Cascarino to Dalton Kalbach.
But the Bulldogs squashed any Falcon thoughts of a comeback by scoring on a big play in their next possession.
The Falcons lost starting quarterback Garrett Levengood to injury, after the senior led his team deep into Wilson territory on their opening possession of the evening.
By all accounts, Cascarino performed admirably in Levengood’s absence.
Wilson is now 4-1 on the campaign. Friday marked the fourth time this season that an opponent has put up 40 points or more on the Falcons.
Next Friday, Cedar Crest will entertain Manheim Township at Earl Boltz Stadium.
Columbia 34, Elco 7
In Myerstown, at the stadium not named after Fred Poorman, the Crimson Tide notched the first 34 points of the contest to down the Raiders. Columbia led 20-0 at the break.
Elco is now 1-4 overall and 0-2 in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. The outcome pushed Columbia to 4-1 on the year and 1-0 in the league.
The Raiders – especially their defense – hung with the Crimson Tide for the opening 12 minutes of play. But Columbia posted 20 points in the second period.
Elco experienced difficulties getting untracked offensively all evening. The Raiders eventually got on the scoreboard in the opening moments of the final stanza when Anthony Pletz hit Derek Miller with a touchdown toss.
Next week, Elco will host Camp Hill in a non-league affair.