The Morning Call (Sunday)

Palisades starts fast, and never looks back

- By Keith Groller

Palisades football coach Ramie Moussa said his Pirates entered Saturday’s District 11 2A semifinal against visiting Catasauqua knowing it was the better team.

But it was important for Palisades to come out and immediatel­y prove it.

“We talked about having a fast start all week,” Moussa said.

The Pirates got just that. They got with a three-and-out stop on defense, a blocked punt for a safety and a punt return for a touchdown for a 9-0 lead all in the game’s first minute and 11 seconds.

Palisades never looked back in a well-rounded 36-0 victory to advance to the District 11 2A title game.

The special teams played a significan­t role for a Pirates that has become quite special after a 3-7 season in 2019.

“Our seniors are awesome and this was their last home game,” Moussa said. “Wehave 15 of them and they’ve been together and won their whole life. But they’ve never won a championsh­ip, so hopefully this is the year they can get that done.”

It was one of the seniors, Daniel Kelleher, who got the scoring started with the blocked punt that bounced out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

Then junior Kyle McGrath took over. He returned the ensuing punt 70 yards for a touchdown. It was the first of his four scores with the other three coming on pass receptions from junior quarterbac­k Jaden Newton.

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