Redmonds' picks lead defense
The duo of senior brothers Eli Redmond and Najee Redmond have played slightly different roles in Parkland's defensive secondary throughout the season.
While Eli, who was recently recognized as a Lehigh Valley Conference First Team All-Star, has been a regular starter at cornerback for the Trojans, Najee usually doesn't. However, Najee did start opposite his brother at cornerback in last week's subregional semifinal against Whitehall.
The two each had just as big of an impact during Friday night's 27-10 victory. Both Eli and Najee secured interceptions of Whitehall's Jeffrey Charles that kept the Zephyrs' passing attack in check the whole game
"Eli has been starting all year, and is an all-league player," defensive coordinator Tim Moncman said. "But Najee, we started him tonight. He usually doesn't start. He came up and made a big-time play and was solid all night against a very potent offense."
"Whitehall is an explosive offense," Eli Redmond said. "The game plan that coach Moncman had all week, we just executed it the best that we could."
Midway through the third quarter, Eli Redmond intercepted a pass by Charles at the Trojans' 36-yard line. That crucial interception ended a brief three-play drive for Whitehall, but more importantly, kept the Trojans' lead at 20-3. It was Eli's second interception of the season. He also recorded seven tackles on the night.
"We stress defensive mentality, so that's what we had throughout the whole game," Eli Redmond said. "When we really need that pick, it was a big play."
After the Zephyrs opened up the fourth quarter with a touchdown to cut the deficit to 20-10, it was Najee Redmond that came up with possibly the game's biggest defensive play.
Looking to cut the Trojans' lead even more, Charles' pass toward the Parkland side of the field was intercepted by Najee, who secured the ball between his legs as he fell to the ground. It may have been his first of the season, but it's one he'll remember for quite some time.
"That stop was really big," [Najee] Redmond said. "Thanks to our D-line and linebackers for holding them. If it wasn't for our D-line or our linebackers, that pick would've never happened."
The defense's mentality all season has been to play until the final whistle. The Trojans' executed Moncman's schemes all night, holding the Zephyrs to a season-low 10 points, and allowing Charles to just 63 yards passing.
"We have to run to the ball," Eli Redmond said. "We don't know when the play will be over, but we have to have all 11 guys to ball."
"The motto is play to the echo of the whistle," Moncman said. "We have to run to the ball, and that's what we stress. The first guy make the hit, and the other guys gang tackle."
The defense has often been called The Wolfpack for its play on the field. It is a big reason the Trojans are headed to the District 11 championship for the second consecutive year.
"We're giving up about 10 points a game the whole year," Moncman said. "We were on a stretch there where no one scored more than seven points for about five or six weeks. It's a great unit of kids. They play as a family. They're nickname is The Wolfpack, and that's how they play."
"We're all like brothers. We fight for each other," Najee Redmond said. "We always have each other's backs. There's nothing we wouldn't do for each other."