Palisades holds on to a 22-17 win over Notre Dame-Green Pond
Palisades jumped out to a 22-3 lead but Notre Dame-Green Pond cut in to that lead on a Cole DeFranco touchdown pass with 3:10 left in the game. The Crusaders got the ball back with under a minute to play in the game. It came down to the final play of the game. Matthew McGrath intercepted the DeFranco pass in the end zone to preserve a 22-17 win over the Crusaders.
Jared Colletti and Trey Gretzinger combined for 346 yards rushing to lead the Pirates to their first opening day win since 2013. The unsung hero was fullback TJ Rakowsky who was opening the holes all night for Colletti and Gretzinger.
“TJ is a player. The coaches commended him out here,” said Head Coach Kevin Ronalds. “That stuff doesn’t show up in the stat sheet. He is a vicious blocker.”
The Pirates got the first score of the game. Gretzinger picked up the fumbled snap and took it in from one-yard out. They led 7-0, with 10:51 left in the first half.
The Crusaders cut in to the Pirates lead on a 26-yard field goal by Tucker Eighmy.
Kyler Newton sacked DeFranco in the end zone for a safety, The Pirates now led 9-3.
On the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter, Gretzinger went 66-yards for the touchdown. It was 15-3 with 11:04 left in the 3rd quarter.
Gretzinger wasn’t done. The first play of the fourth quarter were 11-yard and a five-yard touchdown runs.
“We were physical on both sides of the ball tonight,” said Ronalds. “If were not playing that way, we would have been in trouble.”
But the Crusaders weren’t done yet. Defranco threw two fourth quarter touchdown passes. Gerald Grube caught a 57-yard pass and Danny O’Hare added a six-yard catch.
Notes: Palisades Trey Gretzinger rushed for 191 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns. Jared Colletti added 150 yards rushing. The Pirates travel to Wilson Area next week.
Notre Dame-Green Pond was led by Cole DeFranco. He passed for 327 yards and two touchdowns. The Crusaders host Bangor next week.
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