Salisbury comeback effort falls short
One might think that a team that gives up 31 first-half points would just stick its head in the sand and find itself facing a mercy rule-loss shortly after the third quarter began.
That wasn't the case last Friday as the Salisbury football team would have nothing of the sort against Palmerton.
Instead, the Falcons came out and owned the second half despite falling to the Bombers 38-28 and ending Salisbury's chance to qualify for a district playoff berth, dropping to 4-5 on the season.
"That was the game plan, to get up early," said Palmerton head coach Chris Walkowiak. "To try and come out and score right away and the kids executed and got up by 14.
"Big plays hurt us. Salisbury is a fighting team, a scrappy team. Our defense did well for us at times forcing turnovers. We got the two interceptions for touchdowns and that actually saved us."
Turnovers played a big part in the Falcons loss. They fumbled three times and saw the Bombers intercept four passes.
The Bombers took the opening kickoff an 8-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Garrett Perschy slicing through the Salisbury defense for a 26-yard touchdown.
On the Falcons third play following the Bomber score, Nelson stepped in front of a Tevon Weber throw, picked it off and raced 50 yards into the end zone for a 14-0 lead.
Salisbury shook off the cobwebs, however, as Weber found Mason Donaldson open for completions of 12 and 41 yards down to the Bomber 2-yard line. Devin Irwin ran it in from there and Donaldson's PAT cut the Palmerton lead to 14-7.
Right near the end of the first quarter, Nick Sander picked off a Weber pass and gave the Bombers good field position on the Salisbury 20-yard line. The Falcons' defense stiffened, but Roselli booted a 21-yard field goal to make it 17-7.
With 8:28 left in the half, it was Shivone's turn to pick off a Weber pass and he took it 80 yards for a score lifting the Bomber lead to 24-7.
Three minutes later, three straight carries by Palmerton's Jerry Pereira took the ball down to the Salisbury 13. Rae Washington took it in from there to make it 31-7.
The Falcons' Shane Wittman ran the ensuing kickoff back 80 yards for a touchdown, setting the halftime score at 31-14.
The Falcons pulled within 10 points with over seven minutes left in the third quarter when Weber hooked up with Donaldson for a 21-yard score.
A drive by the Bombers on their next possession ended with Perschy scoring his second touchdown of the night, this one from the nine, to make it 38-14 and a big enough cushion
Salisbury's last score came on another big play where Irwin broke loose and raced 89 yards into the end zone.
Weber completed 9 of 20 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown to Mason Donaldson. Irwin carried the ball three times for 94 yards.
Salisbury heads into this week's game against Southern Lehigh needing a win and a Northern Lehigh loss to Palmerton to earn an Eastern Conference playoff berth.