Ted Silary: Archbishop Ryan's Palmer goes long, twice

Mike Palmer: big night
Mike Palmer: big night
Posted: October 18, 2011

PASSING ALONG some city high school football tidbits . . .

Most players go through their entire careers without posting a long touchdown. Mike Palmer zoomed for two in 1 night.

As resurgent Ryan gave Roman a maxi-scare before falling, 28-26, in Catholic AAAA Friday, the 5-8, 140-pound Palmer returned the opening kickoff 90 yards. Then, 1:27 before game's end, he caught a (roughly) 20-yard pass from Mike Anusky and turned it into a 95-yarder.

The performance stirred memories of Rick Burns' early-late show for Egan vs. Neshaminy in a 1982 opener. He took the opening kickoff 92 yards for a score and tallied again with 0:17 left on a 99-yard interception return.

Palmer said he liked his first TD the best, "because that was my first kickoff return of the whole season. I've always been back there. First one I got to touch.

"I was talking to [teammate] Shane Kelly at lunch. I was telling him, 'Roman'll be tough to beat, but if I take the opening kickoff to the house, we'll have them on their heels the whole game.' . . . That's what happened, right?

"Then, when I was standing back there, [Mike Frain, father of 2011 baseball star Eric Frain] was walking past the goal post on his way to the stands and yelled to me, 'Take it to the house, Mike!' I pointed to him and said, 'I got you!!' Then I did my little leg jumps and I was ready!"

That memory-maker (key block supplied by Nick Le Van) was scored at the west end of Northeast's stadium. He scurried the other way for No. 2.

"Roman has fast guys," Palmer said. "I turned around a little at one point and saw No. 21 and No. 7 [Marcus Kelly and William Fuller] chasing me. I was thinking, 'Guess I'm gonna get caught.' But I made it and it was, 'Can't believe I outran two Division I recruits!' "

In all, Palmer made four catches for 190 yards, tying Nick Ferdinand's 2006 school record, so his five touches produced an amazing 280 yards (56.0 average).

Meanwhile, guess who claims he can dust Palmer?

"Yeah, I'm probably the fastest guy on the team," Anusky said, laughing. "I can beat Mike. Easily."

Said Palmer, without hesitation: "He can."

While watching Roman struggle early, Tracey Davis, energetic mom of d-back Darryl Mintz, yelled, "You guys wearing all that pink; you're startin' to play like girls!" . . . The acknowledged city record for shortest time span for a three-TD sequence (25 seconds, Frankford-Gratz in 2006) was threatened Friday (27 seconds) when Northeast's Harold Alexander passed 40 yards to Christopher Gary, then Donald Smith (86 yards) and Anthony Quail (82) ran back kickoffs. There were also consecutive KO-return TDs, to start the second half, in SJ Prep (frosh John Reid, 89) vs. McDevitt (Keith Young, 86) . . . In last weekend's Scoring Battle of First Cousins, the Youngs (Keith, of McDevitt, Eerin of Imhotep) bested the Peopleses (Desmon and Brandon, of Wood), 32-24. Eerin was tops in points with 20 . . . Chestnut Hill soph Andy Reid, a starter at defensive end, on whether the Andy Reid should be fired: "I don't watch much football. I just play it." On having the name: "Awesome. Yup, still. I've been hearing jokes since I was 8 years old. I'm over it" . . . For the last play of the first half, Haverford School had the ball at CH's 42. Coach Rick Knox' prevent defense featured three guys standing along the goal line . . .

Via a quickly formed/approved cooperative sponsorship, Edison has added some players from Bracetti (whose season was halted after four games, because of insufficient numbers). Zamir Boney and Xavier Cornish had catches vs. Central . . . West Philadelphia's William Monaghan boasts almost as many conversion catches (eight, with three Friday vs. Gratz) as regular catches (10) . . . Dillen White scored for Fels vs. Bartram on a 102-yard interception return. Teammate Eric Jones returned a fumble the exact same distance, but the refs ruled Michael Britchette (2-yard TD run) had broken the plane before losing possession . . . How often does this happen? University City scored only once vs. Franklin despite amassing 284 passing yards (231 for Joshua Fenwick, 53 for Karim Karamoko) . . . Northeast's Howard Lynn continues to kick rightfooted, punt leftfooted. Oh, and he used pretty much his whole body to make a TD-saving tackle vs. Washington on a kickoff . . .

Central soph Walt Pegues scored on punt returns of 75 and 48 yards vs. Edison and now owns four return TDs for the season . . . Just last fall, Fels' Tyree "Bam" Rucker set the Pub's season record for TD passes with 25. Frankford's Tim DiGiorgio already owns 20 . . . La Salle's Tim Wade rushed for 235 yards vs. Judge; the school record of 243 was set last year by Jamal Abdur-Rahman, now a Villanova freshman.

Send email to silaryt@phillynews.com.

Online high school coverage at philly.com/rally.

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