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Pirates bounce back against Bangor


Late in their recent game against Bangor, Palisades running back Trey Gretzinger wanted quarterback Ethan Brader to carry the ball on a few plays instead of him.

Brader was close to achieving the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season, and Gretzinger reached the plateau the previous week.

The senior signal caller hit the milestone and he and Gretzinger combined for 415 yards rushing in the Pirates’ convincing 51-13 victory Oct. 5 at Walter T. Rohrer Stadium.

Gretzinger, who is close to breaking his brother Christian’s record as the school’s all-time leading rusher (3,189), finished the game with 256 yards rushing with four overall touchdowns (three rushing), while Brader ran for 159 yards and scored twice.

“He (Brader) really started running the ball last year,” said Gretzinger, who also is a senior. “He has grown a lot this year and has a great first step. It is pretty cool having us both with over 1,000 yards.

“My brother has been on the sidelines and is very supportive of me. All of my family has been very supportive through all of this.

“This was a good win for us, and we got back to where we were.”

The Pirates (5-2) snapped a two-game losing streak during which they allowed an uncharacteristic 81 points. It also ended a 14-game Colonial League unbeaten streak.

It was an all-around effort for Palisades, which scored 24 unanswered points to take control of the game.

Ethan Miller intercepted two passes, returning one 94 yards for a score.

Head coach Kevin Ronalds also cited the play of freshman cornerback Kyle McGrath.

“He (McGrath) did a nice job and really played hard,” Ronalds said. “He doesn’t back down. We were really concerned about them (Bangor), so I was very pleased with how we played. We played well from the first quarter.

“Ethan and Trey really play off each other well. Trey got his 1,000 yards in the 13th game of last season. I didn’t think we would have two guys with 1,000 yards after week seven. Teams are usually keyed on Trey and that has freed Ethan up.

“Ethan can be a very explosive runner and he has shown that this year.”

With the win, the Pirates kept paced in the District 11 Class 3A playoff race. They are currently fifth in the bracket that will take the top four teams.

The Pirates have three games remaining beginning with a contest at Northern Lehigh Friday. They will end their season with rival Saucon Valley, a game that likely will decide their postseason fate.

“We’ll have to fight to be 8-2 to get in,” Ronalds said. “We talk about it and we know we will have to win it.

“But we just have to take care of our business and take it one game at a time.”