Hornets’ gamble pays off
Last Friday night, the Emmaus football team became the Lehigh Valley’s pride and poise boys.
Trailing by seven points with seconds left and looking at a fourth and seven from the Nazareth 8-yard line, Emmaus needed a touchdown and had to keep cool.
The offense sent three wide receivers to the right and quarterback Ethan Parvel then went to his right on a designed rollout.
There was one problem - no one was open. With the Blue Eagle rush closing fast on the senior quarterback, Parvel started bobbing and weaving and then dumped off a pass toward the end zone while being hauled down.
As the scoreboard flickered away the final seconds, Emmaus wide receiver Izaiah McPherson’s eyes were wide as saucers as the football touched his hands and he cradled it in the end zone.
Touchdown Emmaus. Nine ticks left on the clock. The Green Hornets could have converted the extra point and taken their shot in overtime. But head coach Harold Fairclough had other ideas.
“I thought we had the momentum,” he said. “I didn’t want to have to defend against Nazareth again.”
In a gutsy move, Fairclough instructed running back Lubens Myers and the left side of the Emmaus offensive line to muscle up and Myers bulled in for the two-point conversion and a thrilling 43-42 victory.
“The staff did a really good job on that last call,” Fairclough said.
Myers was a menace to Nazareth defenders, with equal parts power and finesse. Myers opened the game with an explosive 94-yard kickoff return and gained 127 yards on 27 carries.
He scored two touchdowns for Emmaus (2-0, 2-0 Conference). He picked up for teammate Sone Ntoh, who was injured in the game and logged just one carry.
“He meant everything for us,” Fairclough said of Myers’ incredible performance.
The Hornets received several outstanding performances in the heroic comeback to defeat the Blue Eagles (1-1).
It was not easy as Nazareth notched 403 yards in total yards and quarterback Anthony Harris went 18-30 for 199 yards and threw for three touchdowns. At times, he sliced through the Emmaus defense as easy as pie.
“Nazareth always gets up for us and they played a tough football game,” Fairclough said. “We’re not where we need to be.”
Emmaus was able to “persevere,” according to Fairclough. The Green Hornets trailed at one point 21-6, but did not give up. When Parvel offered up an interception in the fourth quarter that set up Nazareth’s go-ahead score minutes later, they did not give up.
“We just stayed positive and we learned a lot of lessons about how to finish,” Fairclough said.
The Hornets learned that staying positive, staying in the fight and believing in one another are more than slogans. Sometimes they help you win games that shouldn’t be won. They learned for at least one night they are the Lehigh Valley’s pride and poise boys.