Something had to give when the Emmaus offense and Freedom defense met up Friday night at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium.
The Hornets came into the game averaging 43.2 points per game. The Patriots’ defense had been allowing just over 10 points per game and was coming off a 24-17 loss to Parkland, the most points it had given up all season.
Freedom’s defense won the battle Friday night as it kept the Hornets out of the end zone until late in the third quarter en route to a 24-17 win.
Emmaus girls soccer head coach Sarah Oswald stressed the importance of playing a full 80 minutes of solid soccer before Monday’s game against rival Parkland. Unfortunately, a 10-minute stretch was the deciding factor against the Trojans.
Parkland broke a scoreless game in the second half with two goals in the first six minutes from Brooke Schutter. That turned out to be the deciding factor in keeping the Trojans (13-0 overall; 12-0 in EPC) unbeaten with their second win over the Hornets (8-5-1, 8-3-1) this season.
When the Emmaus football team walked off the field last weekend at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium, the Hornets knew they let one slip away. They dropped another one-score game, and one that could have went in their favor if not for a couple of plays.
“We have to eliminate penalties and play with consistent energy and effort,” said head coach Harold Fairclough. “We had over 420 yards of total offense, but we consistently shot ourselves in the foot. We had a touchdown called back and a first-and-goal from the 10 yard-line and ended up with fourth-and-goal from the 25.”
When the Emmaus and Parkland girls volleyball teams last took the court against each other two weeks ago, the Hornets accomplished a feat that was not only a long coming for them, but also every other team in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11.
Emmaus swept the Trojans in straight sets two weeks ago, ending a 120-match win streak for Parkland dating back to 2009.
But beating a team twice in the same season, let alone in a two-week span is tough, and Parkland had even more motivation this time around.
Parkland remained one of two undefeated teams in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference with a win over Whitehall Friday night. The other EPC unbeaten, Bethlehem Catholic, plays a Saturday evening game.
Palisades is still the only Colonial League team without a loss after rolling to a win over Salisbury.
Here’s a look at some of Friday night’s action. For more see this week’s Lehigh Valley Press newspapers.
The Trojans overcame an early deficit to beat Whitehall 31-21 and remain undefeated.
Emmaus’ defense had its ups and downs over the first three weeks of the 2017 high school football season.
But last Friday against Northampton the Hornets posted their first shut out of the season. And it’s not a coincident that the shut out came just two games after nose guard Joe Barno was cleared to get back with the team after a preseason concussion kept him out of hte first three weeks of the season.
The Emmaus golf team wrapped up the regular season last week with a win over Stroudsburg. The win gives the Hornets the regular season Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title with a 14-1 record in league play.
“We’re a pretty strong team,” said Hornet senior Connor Wambold, a three-year varsity player. “We lost some players last year but we have some freshmen that can play pretty well.”
Just as quickly as the Emmaus girls soccer team lost a bit of its swagger, the Hornets got it right back. A disappointing loss to Pocono Mountain East was met with a challenge from head coach Sarah Oswald. She asked her team to win three conference games this past week to put it back in good standing in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
The challenge was accepted and Emmaus picked up wins against Stroudsburg (3-6-0, 4-6-0), Northampton (5-3-1, 6-3-1) and Bethlehem Catholic (3-5-0, 3-5-0) by a combined score of 20-2, putting Emmaus back in the hunt in the EPC.
The Emmaus boys and girls cross country teams had a solid showing last week in EPC competition.
The girls (5-1) won all three of its races last Wednesday against Pleasant Valley (15-50), Pocono Mountain East (15-48) and Pocono Mountain West (15-50). The boys (3-3) picked up convincing victories over Pocono Mountain East (17-45) and Pocono Mountain West (15-50), while coming up short against Pleasant Valley (27-30).
Even before the tennis season got underway, Emmaus coach Dimitri Diamandopoulos warned that the schedule was much tougher late in the season than it was early in the season.
When the team won its first five matches, he was still singing the same tune. When they were 6-1, he pointed out remaining matches against Freedom, Nazareth, Parkland and other teams who were all strong.