East Penn Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBSal Pagano leads the way for Stephen Wolf during last week’s game against Parkland. Copyright - DonHerb                                               PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBSal Pagano leads the way for Stephen Wolf during last week’s game against Parkland. Copyright - DonHerb
PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBStephen Wolf (left) and Benjamin Maehrer (right) earned MVP trophies for offense and defense, respectively, in last week’s loss to Parkland. Copyright - DonHerb                                               PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBStephen Wolf (left) and Benjamin Maehrer (right) earned MVP trophies for offense and defense, respectively, in last week’s loss to Parkland. Copyright - DonHerb

Football falls to Parkland

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 by CJ HEMERLYSpecial to the Press in Sports

For two and a half quarters, the Emmaus football team looked like it might pull off an upset against Parkland. A win was in the Hornets’ grasp last Friday night in Orefield.

Emmaus scored first and trailed by only two points with just over a minute left in the third quarter, but the Trojans’ athleticism took over and was too much for the Hornets in a 35-12 loss that ended the regular season.

While a win could resulted in a district playoff berth, Emmaus (5-5) still goes on to the Eastern Conference playoffs this weekend.

“Personnel-wise, that’s the best team we’ve seen this year,” head coach Randy Cuthbert said. “They have a lot of talent. They’re big and they’re strong and they’re fast. We had Plan A and we had Plan B, and we went through them all. It was tough. I’m disappointed we lost, but I’m proud of the way our kids fought and battled. But give them credit. They’re a very talented team.”

The Green Hornets received the opening kickoff and conducted an 11-play drive that was halted at the Trojans 29-yard line on a fourth down stop. But then two plays later, Benjamin Maehrer intercepted Parkland quarterback Devante Cross and ran it back for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead.

“I thought our defense played well all night,” said Cuthbert. “The fast start definitely helped us early on gaining confidence.”

The Hornet defense held Parkland to a three-and-out on its next possession, and then put together another long drive of 10 plays that ended with a punt.

On the Trojans’ next possession, Cross connected with Kenny Yeboah from 17 yards away for a 7-6 lead midway through the second quarter.

Yeboah was trouble for the Hornets’ secondary. He finished with 10 catches for 128 yards and three touchdowns.

“He’s 6-5 and athletic and he high-points the ball,” Cuthbert said. “He’s tough to guard.”

His second touchdown made it 14-6 heading to halftime. And with Parkland driving deep into Emmaus territory in the second half, the Green Hornets defense once again came up big, stuffing Erik DiGirolamo (196 yards, two touchdowns) at the one-yard line on fourth down.

Three plays later, Stephen Wolf took a handoff from senior running back Kyle Boney and raced 94 yards down field for a score to cut his team’s deficit to14-12.

When Cross was intercepted again by Maehrer, Emmaus had a chance to take back the lead. But a punt was followed by a DiGirolomo 98-yard run down the sideline that took the life out of the defense, and gave the Trojans all of the momentum back to carry until the end.

“We had it close for a while, but that run was just an unbelievable run,” said Cuthbert. “We battled and fought but give them credit. They’re a very good team.”