Palmerton’s Matt Machalik and Kendall Robinson Led The Way in a 42-29 Opening Night Win
Photography by Lynn Shupp
PALMERTON – The combination of Matt Machalik and Kendall Robinson combined for three touchdowns in a 42-29 opening night win Friday night.
Machalik passed for 236 yards and rushed for 112. Robinson finishes the night catching five passes for 99 yards.
On Palmerton’s opening drive, Machalik hit Robinson in the corner of the end zone for the 19-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was good by Samantha Perloni and the Blue Bombers led 7-0 with 5:44 left in the first quarter.
Lehighton answered right back on their second possession. A key play of the drive was on a fourth down and seven conversions on Palmerton’s 22. Brady O’Donnell hit Ian Rarick for the first down at the ten-yard line. At the end of the first, Palmerton led 7-0.
Lehighton’s AJ Light capped off a drive in the second quarter with a 29-yard field goal. With 11:56 left in the first half, Palmerton led 7-3.
Like a good prize fight…Palmerton counterpunched. Machalik went 76 yards for a score. But wait, the play was called back. Machalik went in again for the score. Again, the touchdown was called back. But the third time was the charm, Machalik rolled right and hit Kendall Robinson for the 22-yard touchdown. Palmerton extended their lead to 14-3 with 8:19 left in the first half.
Lehighton punted on their next drive. The Blue Bombers were on the move again. They capped off a four-play, 56-yard drive when Daniel Lucykanish hauled in a 41-yard touchdown pass from Machalik. The score was 21-3 Palmerton.
Robinson intercepted the ball for Palmerton and took it to their 37 with under a minute left in the first half. After a penalty, they started on Lehighton’s 45. After an incredible pass by Machalik and a nice run to Lehighton’s, they faced a third and one with eight seconds on the clock.
For the hat trick, Matt Machalik hit Kendall Robinson for the third time in the half for a ten-yard touchdown pass. With 2:22 remaining in the first half, they led 28-3.
Machalik threw for four touchdowns in the first half.
In the third quarter, Lehighton struck first. Ethan Buchert capped off the drive by outrunning defenders and bowling over another for the four-yard touchdown run. The score was28-10 Palmerton with 3:16 left in the third quarter.
Things started getting interesting. Lehighton’s Mike Yeakel intercepted the tipped pass by Wyatt Sherer. They took over on the 50. But, Palmerton’s defense returned the favor. O’Donnell’s pass was picked off by Lucykanish at their 30.
Lehighton’s Buchert had a big run on the last play of the third quarter. Palmerton headed into the fourth quarter leading 28-10.
There were fireworks across the road and on the field. The fourth quarter was the grand finale. Machalik and O’Donnell put on a show.
O’Donnell ran straight up the middle and finished off the drive. He went in from 12 out. Light’s kick was good and the Indians cut the lead by 11 to 28-17.
Guess who answered the drive? Machalik answered the drive quickly. He went in from 13 yards out. The score was 35-17 Palmerton 10:51 left in the game. The back and forth continued.
This time it was O’Donnell with the answer. He went in from 29 yards out with 8:52 left in the game.
Machalik countered that punch. He got his second rushing touchdown of the half. He powered over defenders from five yards out.
O’Donnell finished off the scoring by hitting Caden Meek for a 28-yard touchdown pass. O’Donnell finished the game passing for 244 yards on 18 of 27 passes and rushed for 52 yards on five carries.
P – Matt Machalik 19-yard pass to Kendall Robinson (Samantha Perloni) 5:44
L – AJ Light 29-yard field goal 11:56
P – Matt Machalik 22-yard pass to Kendall Robinson (Samantha Perloni) 8:19
P – Matt Machalik 41 yard pass to Daniel Lucykanish (Samantha Perloni) 4:16
P – Matt Machalik 10 yard pass to Kendall Robinson (Samantha Perloni) 0:03
L – Ethan Buchert 4-yard run (AJ Light kick good) 3:16
L – Brady O’Donnell 12-yard run (AJ Light kick good) 11:47
P – Matt Machalik 13-yard run (Samantha Perloni) 10:51
L – Brady O’Donnell 29-yard run (AJ Light kick good) 8:52
P – Matt Machalik 5-yard run 4:24
L – Brady O’Donnell 28-yard pass to Caden Meek (run failed) 1:37
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