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Eagles race out early, pound Palmer, 40-0

PALMER — Franklin County Technical School traveled to Legion Field with a chance to remain unbeaten in Tri-County League play, and did not disappoint, crushing Palmer High School, 40-0, Friday night.

The Eagles (2-1 overall, 2-0 TCL) picked up where they left off last week when they blasted Ware High School by an identical 40-0 score. Tech brought the same focus and energy to the field on both sides of the ball, and look poised to make a serious run at the TCL crown.

The Tech offense drove 55 yards on the game’s opening possession and featured last week’s hero Kyle Laffey who got it done both on the ground and through the air. Laffey rushed for 17 yards on the drive, and on a 4th and 5 play, hauled in a 10 yard touchdown pass from Eagles’ sophomore quarterback C.J. Daignault. Nate Crocker added the extra point to make the lead 7-0.

After the teams traded three-and-outs, Palmer began a drive on their own 25 and were promptly driven backwards by the Eagles defense, forcing a punt from the Palmer 22.

Tech took possession at its own 47, and on the second play of the drive Daignault hit senior tight end Cooper Grace for a 45 yard touchdown strike with 16 seconds left in the first. Crocker added the PAT, and the rout was on.

Things only got worse in the second quarter for the Panthers, who could not manage a first down, and had two muffed snaps on punts, a fumble on a kickoff, along with a punt that was blocked by the Eagles’ Jacob Brooks. These miscues led to three touchdowns in four minutes for the Eagles, who took a 33-0 lead into the half that could have been more, but Tech let the clock run out with the ball at the Palmer 12.

“The boys came to play tonight,” said Eagles head coach Joe Gamache. “We have a big game next week at home against the reigning league champs, and we’re going to need to be ready again.”

The second half kickoff went to the Panthers (0-2, 0-2 TCL), and they started their drive at their own 25. After finally making a first down on a 9-yard pass from quarterback Aaron Palmer to wide receiver Leon Marsh, the Tech defense forced Palmer to punt.

The Eagles’ only miscue of the day followed, as Crocker attempted to field the bouncing kick, and had it bounce off his hand. The ball was recovered by Palmer at the Tech 30. The Panthers managed another first down on a 4 yard pass from Palmer to Marsh, but the Tech defense then dropped Palmer for a 4-yard loss on fourth-and-2, taking over at its own 15 with 2:50 to go in the quarter.

On the ensuing drive, Laffey took center stage once again, rushing for 63 yards, and senior running back Brooks finished it off with a 3-yard TD run. Crocker’s kick was good, and the Eagles defense yet again held the Panthers in check to round out their second shutout in as many games.

The Eagles return to action on Sept. 28 when they host defending TCL champion Pathfinder Vocational High School at 1 p.m.

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