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Panthers Pounce on Raiders Early; Palmer over Commerce 37-0

By Kevin McCaskill Jr.

9/24/21 * 5:42 AM

(LEGION FIELD, PALMER) - On Thursday night, The High School of Commerce Raiders travelled northeast to take on the Palmer HS Panthers. Commerce beat Putnam last week to retain “The Mayor’s Cup”. Palmer beat Frontier convincingly.

The game was played at Legion Field in Palmer, MA. Last night was my first time there. It’s a nice field, with a new press-box. Unfortunately, the scoreboard wasn’t working for this game. The head referee had to make announcements all game about the clock situation.

Trayvon Jordan started at QB for HSC; Jack Letendre was the starter for Palmer.

HSC received the opening kickoff. The Raiders had a good opening drive. They got good gains in the running game from Kevaun Coakley-Tulloch and Jordan. Palmer’s defense stood their ground after a couple HSC first downs. HSC was faced with a 4th down. They couldn’t convert. They turned the ball over on downs, which gave Palmer good field position.

(Run by Kevaun Coakley-Tulloch)

Palmer RB Xavier Nava had a great game on Thursday. He ran tough all game for the Panthers. When Palmer moved the ball to the red-zone, Senior QB Jack Letendre got the snap, rolled out to his right and found fellow Senior Anthony Ukrainets in the back of the end-zone for the game’s 1st TD.

(TD pass by Jack Letendre)

HSC got the ball back. They were down 7-0 and close to their own end-zone. Jordan got the snap but it was high, over his head. Palmer Junior Dominic Allen recovered the ball and scored a TD for the Panthers. They were up 14-0.

HSC got the ball back. They couldn’t move the ball; they were forced to punt. Jordan (also the punter) got the snap cleanly but Palmer got good penetration on the right side. Jaden Nava [and potentially Andrew Haley] blocked Jordan’s punt. The ball went into the end-zone. Nava recovered the ball and scored Palmer’s third TD of the 1st quarter.

HSC had a decent opening drive. After an errant snap and a blocked punt, the Raiders found themselves down 21-0, in the first.

In the second quarter, Palmer kicked a FG to increase their lead 24-0. Also, in the 2nd, HSC Sophomore QB Armani Vargas came in the game to play for Jordan. The HSC offense struggled with both QBs on the field on Thursday.

The score was 24-0 at halftime. The Raiders still had a chance but they would need to score quickly and stop Palmer’s running game.

Neither one of those things happened in the second half.

Palmer scored two more TDs: one in the 3rd quarter and one in 4th quarter. HSC didn’t get on the “scoreboard” last night.

Jordan and Vargas both got snaps in the 2nd half for HSC. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vargas starts a game at some point in the season.

In the 3rd, Letendre hit WR Brady Stahelski for his second passing TD of the game. I didn’t see Stahelski’s route but he got behind the HSC secondary and was pretty wide open in the end-zone. Palmer led at that point, 31-0.

In the 4th, Palmer WR Trey Yesu took the snap from under center. He ran towards the end-zone, carrying a few tacklers and scored the final TD of the night for Palmer. The Panthers went for 2 but they didn’t convert the attempt.

The game clock ran out after the 2-point attempt. Palmer rolled over HSC 37-0.



Jack Letendre - 2 passing TDs

Anthony Ukrainets - 1 rec TD

Brady Stahelski - 1 rec TD

Trey Yesu - 1 run TD

Dominic Allen - fumble recovery TD

Jaden Nava - TD off blocked punt

After the game, I spoke with Palmer 🏈 HC Matt Marciniec [also the Palmer HS Athletic Director].

How did you feeling coming into a Thursday night game?

“It’s definitely interesting. It was a quick week…I was happy with our preparations. I knew they [HSC] had a lot of guys, so we had a fight ahead of us. But it turned out well…”

What have you gotten from Jack Letendre in his career at Palmer?

“He really takes control, in good way. He comes on the field and we don’t really have to worry about stuff. You can see it in football, you can see it in basketball; when he is on the court, he controls the game. Good to have in a Senior QB. He knows what I’m looking for so it’s like I’m out there, its really good”.

Do you depend on one side of the ball or do all 3 phases have to chip in to win for your team?

“Because we are a little low in numbers, I do try to practice all three, all week. Luckily, it’s showing this year. Coach Ryan Moore does a really nice job”.


Palmer plays @ Ware next week; HSC plays Belchertown in Springfield.




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