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by Mark Cheffey
Panther Coach Kevin Miles said in his pre-season remarks that his team might struggle a little early before getting on track.
Well, the Panthers appear to be on track now, after pushing a devastating running attack through Macon for a 41-20 victory, their first of the season.
After scoring just seven points in their two losses to start the season, Palmyra rushed for 400 yards and six touchdowns.
Junior quarterback, Collin Arch, played his first game of the season to help spark the offense, rushing 24 times for 156 yards and five of the touchdowns, while senior running back, Nolyn Richards, broke out for 190 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
Arch also completed seven of 13 pass for 94 yards, but with one interception.
Despite the convincing score, it was an even football game for the first half.
Neither team scored in the first quarter before Richards gave Palmyra its first lead of the season with a 42-yard touchdown run at the 8:17 mark of the second quarter.
Macon responded with a scoring drive of their own, capped by a five yard touchdown run by Trevin Shrum.
Palmyra answered when Arch went over from the three for his first touchdown at the 1:19 mark.
There was still time for the Tigers to respond, however, and they did on a four-yard scoring run by quarterback, MyKel Linear, with just seconds left to tie the game at the half at 14-14.
That would all change after the break, as Macon failed to answer Palmyra’s third quarter offense as Arch rushed for touchdowns of three, four and two yards to put Palmyra up 34-14 going into the final quarter.
Macon did not give in and cut Palmyra’s lead to 13 when Linear hit Chrisjen Riekenberg with a 40-yards scoring strike with 10:46 left.
But Palmyra ended the threat when Arch scored his fifth and final touchdown of the game, this time from 13 yards out.
Palmyra’s defense was also stellar, holding Macon to just 31 rushing yards and four first downs on the ground.
The Tigers were forced to move the ball through the air with some success as Linear completed 15 of 31 passes for 173 yards.
Christian Johnson and Landyn Smith lead Palmyra’s defense with seven and 5.5 tackles respectively.
Brayden Maddon was credited with a sack.
Hays Miller and Smith were Arch’s favorite receivers, each catching three passes for 53 and 24 yards respectively.
Smith also contributed by successfully booting four out of five extra-point kicks.
Palmyra did have to overcome three turnovers, including two fumbles while being flagged for eight penalties for 80 yards.
But, Macon committed nine fouls for 95 yards and committed two turnovers.
Palmyra stays home this Friday to play Brookfield (1-2).
The Bulldogs opened the season with an 18-12 win over Trenton, but have dropped the next two games to Marceline, 20-0, and, most recently, Centralia, 30-12.
Jump in standings
Palmyra’s win made their conference and district prospects a little more rosy.
The Panthers are now 1-0 in Clarence Cannon Conference play and in a four-way tie for the lead with Highland, Centralia and Monroe City.
The Panthers also went from the bottom of the Class 2, District 7 standings to third place behind Maryville and Clark County.
Strangely, all six district teams have identical 1-2 records.
Palmyra at Macon
Friday, Sept. 10, 2021
1 2 3 4 F
Palmyra 0 14 20 6 40
Macon 0 14 0 7 21
Pal: Richards 42-yd. TD run at 8:17, Smith kick, 7-0.
Mac: Shrum 5-yd. TD run at 4:58, Shrum kick, 7-7.
Pal: Arch 3-yd. TD run at 1:19, Smith kick, 14-7.
Mac: Linear 4-yd TD run at 00:02, Shrum kick, 14-14
Pal: Arch 3-yd. TD run at 9:14, Smith kick, 21-14.
Pal: Arch 4-yd. TD run at 5:25, Smith kick, 28-14.
Pal: Arch 2-yd. TD run at 00:35, 34-14.
Mac: Riekenberg 40-yd. TD pass from Linear at 10:46, Shrum kick, 34-21.
Pal: Arch 13-yd. TD run at 6:58, Smith kick, 40-21.
CCC Standings Week 3
CCC All PF PA
Highland 1-0 3-0 147 14
Centralia 1-0 1-2 62 104
Monroe City 1-0 3-0 135 37
Palmyra 1-0 1-2 47 94
Brookfield 0-1 1-2 30 62
Clark Co. 0-1 1-2 38 91
Macon 0-1 1-2 77 102
S. Shelby 0-1 1-2 60 108
Week 3 in the CCC
Palmyra 40, Macon 21
Centralia 30, Brookfield 12
Monroe City 48, South Shelby 8
Highland 36, Clark County 0
Week 4 in the CCC
Brookfield at Palmyra
Monroe City at Centralia
Clark County at South Shelby
Macon at Highland
Class 2 District 7 Standings Week 3
Team Record Points
Maryville 1-2 41.67
Clark County 1-2 33.67
Palmyra 1-2 27.33
Macon 1-2 27.00
Trenton 1-2 24.67
Brookfield 1-2 19.17
Week 3 in Class 2, Dist. 7
Maryville36, Chillicothe 25
Trenton 57, Princeton 28
Week 4 in Class 2, Dist. 7
St. Pius X (KC) at Maryville
Putnam County at Trenton
2021 PHS Varsity
8/27 Hallsville L 7-28, 1-1
9/3 Bowl. Gr. L 0-45, 0-2
9/10 at Macon W 40-21, 1-2
9/17 Brookfield 7 p.m.
9/24 at Monroe City 7 p.m.
10/1 Clark Co. 7 p.m.
10/8 at High. 7 p.m.
10/15 S. Shelby 7 p.m.
10/22 at Centralia 7 p.m.
10/29 District TBA 7 p.m.