East Penn Press

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Emmaus faces Liberty Friday at BASD Stadium

Thursday, September 27, 2018 by STEPHEN ALTHOUSE Special to the Press in Sports

The Emmaus football team hasn’t lost a game through the first five weeks of the season and looks to keep it that way when it travels to Bethlehem Area School District Stadium this Friday to take on the Liberty Hurricanes (2-3).

The Hurricanes are coming off a loss to Parkland in which they were tied at halftime before the Trojans pulled away in the second half for a 19-3 win.

Liberty managed just 83 yards of total offense against Parkland.

But Emmaus coach Harold Fairclough is respectful of the Liberty backfield. Senior running back Nasir Legree is a serious rushing threat. Sophomore Jaiden Canada compliments him. Neither back found much daylight during the Parkland game, as the Trojans shut down the run to the tune of just 41 yards. However, Legree is a great running back and has gobbled up 4.8 yards every time he has carried the rock this season.

“They have a very talented and physical team,” Fairclough says. “They have one of the better running backs in the league (in Legree).”

Fairclough will spend this week focusing on stopping Legree. That will put more pressure on the Liberty passing attack, which is shaky. The Hurricanes are led by quarterback Dallas Holmes, who has taken over running the offense when senior quarterback Todd Erney was rendered to the bench after breaking his hand.

Holmes played respectably against Parkland, but was unable to convert many third down plays, leaving the ‘Cane defense on the field far too long. By the fourth quarter fatigue took over and Parkland had their way up front.

“It’s the same thing we do every week, we’re going to stop the run and be physical up front,” Fairclough says.

The Hurricane passing game can take a lot of pressure off Legree with a good performance Friday night. Holmes will be looking for Kyle Jimenez, Daniel Damon and Justin Diaz to move the sticks with slants, square outs and post patterns. The offensive line will need to give Holmes a little more time than usual for the young quarterback to find his targets.

Defensively Liberty is under the guidance of coordinator Paul Reduzzi and they lost the services of defensive standout Javonte Holmes to injury during the Parkland game. Overall they have played respectable this year, keeping the game with Easton close in a 28-21 loss on Sept. 14 and shutting out Pleasant Valley in the opening game.