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PALMYRA – It might’ve been a different kind than the ones they had grown accustomed to.

So what’s the difference between finding a way to win, and making a way to win? The latter implies that knowledge was imparted, a message was received and that indeed learning had occurred.

On a comfortable Friday night at Buck Swank Stadium, the Palmyra football team employed a completely new method for winning, as the Cougars blitzed the Raiders of Elco 35-7 in a game shortened by a continuously running clock brought on by the mercy rule. Feasting on Elco miscues, the Cougars captured momentum early, scored on their first five possessions to open a 35-0 lead and then brought the running clock into play during the second half.

IMG_0580Palmyra’s recipe for victory was in stark contrast to the come-from-behind variety it had pulled off in the previous two weeks. But a win is a win is a win, and the Cougars are off to a 3-0 start for the second straight year.

The Raiders are now 0-2, after dropping their season opener 41-7 to Susquenita last week.

“I thought we took a step forward tonight,” said Palmyra head coach Chris Pope. “We were able to execute at the beginning of the game. They’re (the Raiders) a good football team.

“We have great leaders in our seniors and juniors,” continued Pope. “From the get-go, they didn’t think there was anyone on our schedule we couldn’t compete with. It’s awesome to be 3-0. It’s a great feeling.”

IMG_0592“Every year they’re well-coached, aggressive and a strong football team,” said Elco head coach Bob Miller of the Cougars. “I don’t know if they have a down year. They’ve got a heck of a coach and a great program.

“We’re young,” Miller continued. “They’re bigger, stronger and faster than us. It wasn’t like last week. It wasn’t a case of not trying hard. We just got out physical-ed.”

Palmyra used big plays and short fields to tally five touchdowns in the game’s first 20 minutes of play.

The Cougars intercepted an errant Elclo aerial on the game’s first snap, and four plays later Mike Petrino was going four yards off left end for a 7-0 Palmyra lead. Palmyra’s longest possession of the evening – a four-play, 61-yard march – culminated with quarterback Grant Haus’ 38-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Wasilewski, and a 14-0 lead.

Three minutes later, Haus turned a short field into a four-yard scoring scamper and a 21-point first-quarter advantage.

“We definitely got the jump on them,” said Pope. “We came out strong. I thought we created some things. We had some opportunities and took advantage of them. That was good to see.

“We were happy to get off to a good start,” added Pope. “The last couple of games we got the win, but we didn’t start the way we wanted to.”

IMG_0548“We’re looking for the same thing every time,” said Miller. “We’re looking for these guys to grow into men. We’re continuing to learn to face adversity, overcoming struggles and working as a team. And for them (his players) to expect more from themselves. The wins will come when we do that.

“There was some improvement,” Miller added. “Last week there was nothing. Tonight we saw some play-making ability by Braden (quarterback Bohannon). I saw some guys step up. I saw two of our captains leading.”

IMG_0522The Cougars’ frenzied onslaught spilled over into the second stanza, in the form of a blocked punt. On the next play, Haus found Kasey Shughart for the 25-yard touchdown strike that made it 28-0.

Petrino notched his second touchdown of the game 4:33 before halftime – an 18-yard run off right tackle that was set up by another short field.

“We wanted to make sure they didn’t punch one in before halftime, because we would’ve lost the (running) clock,” said Pope. “I’ve never seen a team come back when the clock is running. It was definitely on our mind. You want to substitute in a way where you get guys work who need work. Everybody should get an opportunity to play on Friday night.

IMG_0614“We knew the clock was going to run,” Pope continued. “The message at halftime was: ‘Take every opportunity you’re afforded.’ For guys who play those secondary roles, these are valuable reps. We were able to do that, and it was nice to get everybody in.”

“Our goal should be to get in the weight room, 365 days a year,” said Miller. “We need guys to continue to grow and learn the game.

“We still need the offensive line to improve,” Miller continued. “We’re getting there and some of the guys are doing an outstanding job. But they still need to jell.”

With the clock running throughout the second half, Palmyra substituted liberally.

Elco got on the scoreboard on the first play of the fourth quarter, to complete an 11-play, 72-yard possession. Bohannon hit end Jeff Lorah with a touchdown strike from 21 yards away.

IMG_0527“They’re a good football team,” said Pope of the Raiders. “They’re a spread team and they came out and worked the field like we expected them to. They’re younger. They’ll be back. They have a good coaching staff.”

“We’ll have another shot next Friday night,” said Miller. “We need to continue to improve. We need to start the game with the same spirit and pride that we finished this one with.”

In the first half, Palmyra out gained Elco 177 total yards to 48.

“I think there’s a lot of areas where we can improve,” said Pope. “Offensively, we have to work on some of our plays. We need to clean that up. We have to take a good look at the video and see where those things are.”





To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

















2017 Palmyra Football Schedule

08/25 *
Camp Hill
7:00 PM W 24-21
West Perry
7:00 PM W 28-24
7:00 PM 35-7
7:00 PM Donegal High School
09/29 *
@Boiling Springs
7:00 PM Boiling Springs High School
10/06 *
7:30 PM Palmyra High School
10/13 *
7:30 PM Steel-High High School
10/20 *
East Pennsboro
7:00 PM Palmyra High School
10/27 *
7:00 PM Trinity High School
11/03 *
@Milton Hershey
7:00 PM Milton Hershey School
















2017 Elco Football Schedule

7:00 PM L 7-41
7:00 PM 7-35
7:00 PM Elco High School
09/22 *
7:00 PM Annville-Cleona High School
09/29 *
7:00 PM Elco High School
10/06 *
@Lancaster Catholic
7:00 PM Elco High School
10/13 *
7:00 PM Columbia High School
10/20 *
Northern Lebanon
7:00 PM Northern Lebanon High School
7:00 PM Elco High School
11/03 *
Pequea Valley
7:00 PM Elco High School


























































2 thoughts on “Against Elco, Cougars Discover New Way to Win

  1. Yeah whoever is coaching Palmera’s defense this year is really doing a good job. Way to mention all the players that had plays in the game.

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