Hornets hold off Easton
The penultimate week of the high school football regular season saw Emmaus and Salisbury both clinch district playoff berths, with the former coming in a victory over Easton and the latter via a loss to Palmerton.
Here’s a look at some of Friday night’s action.
The Hornets jumped out to an early lead and held off the Rovers in the fourth quarter for a 30-20 win.
Emmaus quarterback Blake Reed (10-for-16 for 145 yards) threw a pair of first-quarter touchdowns for a 14-0 lead. Izaiah McPherson (4 receptions, 51 yards) caught one touchdown and Carlton Lovett caught the other, a 51-yard score for his only catch of the game.
After Easton narrowed the margin with a second-quarter touchdown pass from Scott Poulson (12-for-23 for 206 yards, 3 TD) to Jakob Herres, the Hornets’ Anthony DeCresci made two field goals, including one in the final seconds of the first half, to put the Hornets ahead 20-7 after two quarters.
Emmaus stretched the lead to 27-7 when Josh Artis blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone for a score with 8:37 left in the fourth quarter.
Poulson and the Rovers responded with a quick touchdown strike to Eddie Olsen with 8:19 left in the quarter. But another DeCresci field goal put the lead at 30-14 early in the fourth quarter.
Poulson threw his second touchdown pass to Herres (4 catches, 88 yards) to get within 10 points with eight minutes left in the game. But the Hornet defense made a stop on the Rovers’ next possession to seal the win.
Emmaus improves to 6-3 and clinches a district playoff berth. The Hornets are the fourth place team in Class 6A heading into next week’s regular season finale at Parkland.
The Rovers drop to 6-3 and hold third place heading into next week’s game against Nazareth.
The undefeated Trojans rolled to a 49-7 win over Northampton.
Parkland’s Michael Riusch threw three touchdown passes in the game. He found Tyler Hays for two scores, one for 71 yards and another for 51. Jahad Worth scored on runs of 29 and 12 yards. Joe Guida got into the end zone once from a yard out, while Dominick Nelson accounted for Parkland’s final score, a four-yard run in the fourth quarter to make it 49-0.
Josh Gaycheck scored Northampton’s touchdown on a four-yard run.
The Trojan defense held the Konkret Kids to just 101 yards in the game (54 rushing, 47 passing) while the Parkland offense piled up 487 yards (226 rushing, 261 passing).
Parkland improves to 9-0 and resides at the top of the District 11 Class 6A rankings by a comfortable margin over second-place Stroudsburg (7-2).
Northampton is 10th in the district rankings but is still in the hunt for an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference playoff berth heading into next week’s regular season finale against Whitehall.
The Zephyrs bounced back from last week’s loss to Bethlehem Catholic with a 49-10 win over Stroudsburg.
Ethan Parvel threw for 247 yards for Whitehall, completing 11 of 17 passes for 247 yards. He threw four touchdowns and had no interceptions while also getting a pair of touchdowns on six carries for 84 yards.
Dez Boykin caught six passes for 123 yards and a pair of scores. Allen Negrete (3 catches, 91 yards) and Braxton Marrero also caught touchdown passes for the Zephs while rushing seven times for 87 yards and a score.
Alex Khouri made all eight extra points for Whitehall.
Whitehall improves to 6-3 and is in first place in the District 11 Class 5A rankings heading into next week’s game against Northampton. The Zephs could seal the top seed with a win as second-place Southern Lehigh (8-1) faces Salisbury in its final game of the regular season.
The Mounties drop to 7-2 but move up to second place in the Class 6A rankings with Easton’s loss to Emmaus. Stroudsburg has its Old Oaken Bucket rivalry game against Pleasant Valley next week.
The Blue Eagles’ Matt Bugbee kicked a field goal as time expired to give his team a 30-27 win over Liberty.
The Hurricanes’ Nasir Legree carried the ball 45 times for 269 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the game. Quarterback Todd Ernie also ran for two touchdowns while completing 12 of 22 passes for 113 yards.
The Eagles’ Anthony Harris passed for 299 yards in the game, completing 26 of 37 passes and throwing two touchdowns. Nathan Stefanik caught 10 passes for 126 yards, while Jahan Dotson added four catches for 92 yards and a score.
Liberty drops to 3-6 and is in ninth place in the District 11 Class 6A playoff race, one spot away from qualifying. They are behind Pocono Mountain West and PM East, in seventh and eight place, respectively, and those two face one another next week. If the Hurricanes can upset Freedom (4-4) next week, they would likely qualify for the tournament.
Nazareth (5-4) is in fifth place in the district rankings. The Eagles have not clinched a playoff spot heading into next week’s game against Easton, but they could be a district playoff team even with a loss next week.
The Tigers came back to beat rival Northern Lehigh 35-17.
The Bulldogs scored first and had leads on 7-0 and 14-7 before the Tigers’ came back with five straight scores.
Phillip Dangello ran for a pair of touchdowns int he win, while Nicholas Henry ran for two. Tiger kicker Hunter Miller made two 30-yard field goals in the win.
The Tigers are now 4-5 and in fifth place in District 11 Class 4A, where just four teams will make districts. Northwestern will likely have to settle for an Eastern Conference playoff berth even if they can beat Catty next week and fourth-place Pottsville should fall to North Schuylkill.
The Spartans cruised to a 69-22 win over Catasauqua.
Luke Strauss rushed for 265 yards on 17 carries and scored four touchdowns for Southern Lehigh. Logan Edmond completed nine of 14 passes for 88 yards and three scores.
The Rough Riders’ Andrew Brett threw for 141 yards on 17-for-21 passing. Derrick Rodriguez ran 13 times for 145 yards and one Catty touchdown. Miguel Hernandez caught six passes for 63 yards and a touchdown.
Southern Lehigh moves to 8-1 with the win and is in second place in the District 11 Class 5A rankings behind Whitehall (6-3).
The Rough Riders are 2-7 and fifth in the Class 2A rankings.
The Blue Bombers held on for a 56-42 win against Salisbury.
Palmerton raced out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead before the Falcons answered with a pair first-quarter touchdowns to start what would be a high-scoring affair.
Salisbury’s Lucas Irwin ran for two touchdowns and caught one in the win. Jacob Kamp threw three touchdowns while completing just five of 18 passes. Oliver Stewart and Tim Buda also caught touchdown passes for the Falcons, while Kamp ran for one score.
Palmerton’s Tekoah Guedes ran for 128 yards and three scores on 18 carries. he also threw for 99 yards and three touchdowns.
Salisbury dropped to 4-4 but still clinched the eighth and final spot in the District 11 Class 2 rankings. The Bombers solidified their top position in Class 2A, where Schuylkill Haven (5-4) will not catch them for the top seed no matter what happens in the finals week of the regular season.
The Falcons take on Southern Lehigh next week while the Bombers face Northern Lehigh.