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by Mark Cheffey
Despite playing with heavy hearts for a member of the PHS family, the Panthers were able to focus on visiting Clark County for a 41-0 homecoming victory Friday.
Senior quarterback, Collin Arch, threw four touchdown passes, including three to junior wide-out Hayes Miller and ran for another, while the defense all but completely stifled the Indians.
It all came while grieving for Luke Triplett, a senior two-way starter, who lost his father in a tragic traffic crash just the day before.
Triplett started and contributed on both sides of the ball as the Panthers put together their most decisive win of the season so far.
The win put the Panthers into a three-way tie for first place in the Clarence Cannon Conference, joining Centralia, 40-6 winners over Highland and Monroe City, which suffered its first loss of the season, 14-6, to Brookfield.
Palmyra was selfish with the football to start the game, first by taking the opening kickoff and driving down field to score on their 10th play from scrimmage when Arch fired a pass to Goodwin, a senior tight end, in the end zone for a 14-yard scoring strike.
Then, after successfully putting the extra point kick through the uprights for a 7-0 lead, Landyn Smith booted an on-side kick that was recovered by Ryan McKeown at the Clark County 40.
Four plays later, Arch fought his way for an eight-yard touchdown run that gave Palmyra a 13-0 lead before the Indians had run a play from scrimmage.
Palmyra tried to hog the ball with another on-side kick, but the Indians managed to cover the ball up on their own 39.
Clark County managed to make a first down, but their drive ended on downs after five plays at the Palmyra 45.
Palmyra drove into Clark County territory hoping to go up by three touchdowns, but Arch was intercepted for the only time in the game, with the Indians taking over at its own 27.
But, after the Indians went three plays and punted, the Panthers were in business again, and this time they made no mistakes, going 59 yards on 11 plays and scoring on senior running back, Nolyn Richard’s, one yard run, that gave Palmyra its 21-0 halftime lead.
Clark County managed to reach the Palmyra 36 on their final drive of the half, but a seven-yard tackle for a loss by Richards on third down ended the threat.
The second half was the Arch and Miller air show as the two hooked up on three long scoring passes.
The Panthers capped their first possession of the second half with a 40-yard pass play from Arch to Miller.
Their next third quarter possession ended with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Arch to Miller, which gave Palmyra a 35-0 lead and a continuous clock.
The two joined up for the final time on another 40-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter.
All told, the Panthers piled up 532 total yards of offense, 277 on the ground and 255 through the air.
Arch was responsible for all the passing yards, completing 14 of 21 passes for four touchdowns, but he also led the ground game, collecting 157 yards on 17 carries.
Richards also contributed 49 yards on 11 carries.
Miller finished with seven pass receptions for 177 yards. McKeown caught one for 34 yards, Smith, five for 30 yards and Goodwin the one 14-yard TD reception.
Meanwhile, the defense held Clark County to 62 total yards of offense, including 34 on the ground and 28 in the air. The Indians managed just six first downs, with two coming on Panther penalties.
Teagan Pope led the defense with 4.5 tackles. Miller added four, Smith, 3.5 and Brayden Madden, 3.5, including 1.5 for losses.
The Panthers hope to stay in the conference title hunt this Friday when they travel to Highland (4-2, 2-2 CCC) for a 7 p.m. game.
The Cougars are coming off their tough loss at Centralia after winning four of their first give games.
They opened the season with three straight wins over Putnam County, 50-14, Missouri Military Academy, 61-0, and Clark County, 36-0.
Highland suffered its first loss of the season to Macon, 32-30, but bounced back for a 24-8 win over South Shelby.
Clark Co. at Palmyra
Friday, Oct. 1, 2021
1 2 3 4 F
Clark Co. 0 0 0 0 0
Palmyra 13 8 14 6 41
Pal: Goodwin 14-yd. TD pass from Arch at 9:26, Smith kick, 7-0.
Pal: Arch 8-yd. TD run at 8:36, 13-0.
Pal: Richards 1-yd. TD run at 10:48, Arch 2-pt. run, 21-0.
Pal: Miller 40-yd TD pass from Arch at 6:02, Arch 2-pt. run, 29-0.
Pal: Miller 24-yd. TD pass from Arch at 2:10, 35-0.
Pal: Miller 40-yd. TD pass from Arch at 9:14, 41-0.
CCC Standings Week 6
CCC All PF PA
Centralia 3-1 3-3 128 154
Monroe City 3-1 5-1 203 70
Palmyra 3-1 3-3 124 118
Brookfield 2-2 3-3 82 119
Highland 2-2 4-2 207 94
Macon 2-2 3-3 179 190
S. Shelby 1-3 2-4 129 194
Clark Co. 0-4 1-5 58 187
Week 6 in the CCC
Palmyra 41, Clark County 0
Macon 42, South Shelby 26
Brookfield 14, Monroe City 6
Centralia 40, Highland 6
Week 7 in the CCC
Palmyra at Highland
Macon at Monroe City
Brookfield at Clark County
Centralia at South Shelby
Class 2 District 7 Standings Week 6
Team Record Points
Maryville 3-3 44.50
Palmyra 3-3 33.23
Macon 3-3 32.33
Trenton 3-3 30.17
Brookfield 3-3 27.67
Clark County 1-5 20.66
Week 6 in Class 2, Dist. 7
Maryville 47, St. Joe Benton 12
Polo 30, Tenton 20
Week 7 in Class 2, Dist. 7
Lincoln College Prep at Maryville
Maysville at Trenotn
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 Brook. W 23-6, 2-2
9/24 at Monroe L 13-18, 2-3
10/1 Clark Co. W 41-0, 3-3
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.