Smith Vocational falls to Palmer, 25-12
PALMER — The Palmer football team held off a late fourth quarter rally by Smith Vocational to earn its first win of the season, 25-12 Friday night.
“We played it all week long like it was our biggest game of the year,” Palmer coach Peter Farr said. “We try to tell the kids to fight hard. We knew what they (Smith Voke) were going to do, and we knew they were going to probably take it as their biggest game of the year, and we wanted to come out at home today and get our first win.”
The Panthers improved to 1-6 over and in the Tri-County League. The Vikings fell to 0-8 in both.
The game was even throughout as both teams used smashmouth football and stuck to the ground most of the day.
Trailing 18-12 late in the game, Smith Voke converted on two straight fourth downs and faced a third at Palmer’s 35-yard line. The Panthers’ defense knocked down a pass from Vikings quarterback Jared Pease to take over with 1 minute, 51 seconds left.
Palmer running back Robert Doucette then broke free of Smith’s defense for a 63-yard touchdown with 1:04 remaining to seal the win.
“It felt good,” Farr said. “I’m happy for the kids. We’ve worked hard like everyone else since August, like every other team, and we’ve tried to buy into what we do. I felt really good for the kids getting their first ‘W’.”
Palmer’s rushing attack turned out to be the deciding factor. Doucette finished with 102 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Maxwell Garrant had 132 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Quarterback Aaron Paul added 46 yards rushing, in addition to 3-of-7 passing for 50 yards and a 3-yard touchdown.
The Vikings combined for 202 yards rushing, including 137 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries from running back Sam Duffy.
“I was just telling the kids that from the beginning of the year to now, it is a completely different story,” Peterson said. “We had very few penalties tonight, the kids were firing out, and we looked sharp. The first game of the year we had 12 guys on the field and nine on the next. We don’t do that anymore. They’re getting better. They just haven’t been able to play four quarters yet. We came out and we dominated the first quarter, which we’ve done the past three weeks. We just need to learn to play four quarters. But the kids are doing great. We’ve got 35 kids on the team, we’re working hard and I’m very proud of them.”
Palmer 25, Smith Vocational 14
Palmer 0 12 0 13—25
Smith Voke 6 0 6 0—12
S – Sam Duffy 25-yard run (conversion failed), 3:33
P – Maxwell Garrant 40 run (kick failed), 7:51
P – David McWhinnie 2 fumble recovery (kick failed)
S – Duffy 4 run (conversion failed) 3:15
P – Garrant 3 from Aaron Palmer (conversion failed), 9:45
P – Robert Doucette 63 run (Ryan McCarthy kick), 1:04
Passing: Smith Voke-Jared Pease 1-4-7-0; Palmer-Paul 3-7-50-1
Rushing: Smith Voke-Duffy 21-137, Smith Voke-Garrant 14-132; Doucette 7-102
Receiving: Smith Voke-Pike 1-7