Big plays lift Green Hornets Central
The Emmaus Green Hornets football team ended a recent skid last Friday night, as they used four long touchdown runs to defeat Central Catholic 38-7 at East Penn School District Stadium. It was the Green Hornets first win over the Vikings since a 17-14 win in 2008.
Wyl Miller, Jake Maehrer, Tom Bisko and Prosper Jolo each accounted for touchdown runs of over 48 yards, pacing a ground attack for Emmaus, which remain unbeaten. The 3-0 start is also the Hornets' best since 2008.
After a Dalton Landis 36-yard field goal, Miller took the handoff and broke through the Vikings defense for his 48-yard score as the time expired in the first quarter.
Central used a bit of trickery in the second quarter. Ryan Belville took a handoff from quarterback Jonathan Beck, then threw a 45-yard strike to Sean O'Donnell to the one.
Colin McDermott, one of the Lehigh Valley Conference's top rushers, bulldozed his way into the endzone on the next play. McDermott, however, was held to 91 yards on 20 carries, which is a win in the eyes of head coach Joe Bottiglieri, who noted the key to victory was slowing McDermott down.
Emmaus had to regroup in the second half after misplaying a drive late at the end of the second quarter.
A drive that took them to the Central three, saw the clock wind down to five seconds before they took a timeout. Instead of possibly going up by double digits before half, an incompletion saw the Green Hornets ahead just 10-7.
Instead of Central seizing momentum, Emmaus put together a scoring drive highlighted by Maehrer's 60-yard burst.
"After that big play they kind of had the momentum," Maehrer said. "But we took it right back and got an early score. We got a good push up front. The line did a great job. They really helped us stack up some yards."
That line, consisting of Micah Fick, Ethan Hovanic, Zach Clinchy, Nick Boyd, Avery Lewis, J.T. Ruggiero and Mike Kashuba, provided the groundwork for 390 total yards of rushing offense.
"The last two years, [Central] really came out and beat us pretty good," said Maehrer. "This one feels really good. Freedom is a tough team though, and we are going to prepare well for them."
In its three wins, Emmaus has outscored its opponents 113-7. It only gets tougher from here. The Green Hornets head on the road for their next two games, at Freedom this Friday night, and at Easton the following week.
With this type of rushing attack, along with the defensive effort, Emmaus will be a tough out for any team.
"In the first half we were a bit upset after they scored," said senior linebacker Kevin Nguyen, referring to the scoreless streak snapping at nine quarters. "The second half though we came out strong, and we just wanted it more. It feels good to graduate knowing we beat Central."
This special occasion for the seniors will live on, but they know they can't just stop there. Maehrer and Nguyen both agreed their Green Hornets need to continue this momentum into the home stretch of their conference schedule.
Jolo's touchdown run also netted 60 yards, and Bisko went for an 80-yard score. Sophomore back Dan Velasco also added a four-yard touchdown for Emmaus.