GLOUCESTER CITY (N.J.) - After a 42-0 loss to neighboring Cinnaminson in its season opener, the Palmyra High School football team was looking to right the ship in its latest outing.
A 26-21 triumph over Gloucester Catholic was just what the Panthers needed to get back on track.
Palmyra scored on its first offensive play after its defense forced a three-and-out. Jaleel Latimore took the short swing pass 58-yards for a house call to put the Panthers up 6-0.
Gloucester Catholic's defense would come alive a few drives later pinning Palmyra deep into their own territory forcing a punt from their own endzone but the snap could not be corralled resulting in a safety making it 6-2 Palmyra.
Gloucester Catholic's Jack Mustaro gave the Rams the lead after he found JonCarlo Coia in the end zone from 26 yards out to build a 8-6 lead.
Gloucester Catholic's lead was short lived.
Palmyra regained the lead after Latimore returned a punt for a 75-yard touchdown to establish a 12-8 lead.
The Panthers would never look back from.
Evan Montgomery snuck into the endzone from a yard out to extend the Palmyra lead, but Gloucester Catholic answered back as Mustaro hit Carlos Mendez in the end zone to inch closer.
John Latimore III reeled in a 15-yard receiving touchdown for Palmyra to extend the lead again.
Mustaro tossed another touchdown to Kyle Guldin as a last ditch effort, but the Rams defense was unable to stop Palmyra from bleeding out the clock.
Jaleel Latimore finished with 96 total yards on offense with 25 yards on the ground and 71 receiving yards with a receiving touchdown, a punt return score and an interception on defense.
Palmyra's Jaleel Latimore racked up 96 total yards with a receiving touchdown, a punt return touchdown and an interception on defense in a 26-21 win over Gloucester Catholic in the football game played at Gloucester City High School in Gloucester City, New Jersey on Saturday, September 3, 2023. Chris Baker/D2 Sports Network
"I think our chemistry on the field was a big part of today's win," Latimore said. "It's something we've been working on as a unit and seeing how was bounced back from a huge loss was important."
Palmyra coach Jack Geisel credited his team's mental and physical toughness as a key factor in the win.
"These kids are hardnosed and refuse to quit," Geisel said. "Credit to Casey (Murphy) and his team for the constant fight but we just outlasted the storm."