Trojans pass first big test
Through its first two games, the Parkland football team had not been challenged. The Trojans won their first two games over Dieruff and Northampton by a combined score of 87-14.
But last Friday night at Parkland School District Stadium, Central Catholic gave the Trojans all they could handle.
Parkland scored 28 unanswered points and then held on after the Vikings scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter for a 28-14 victory and a 3-0 start to the season.
“They have a really good football team over there,” said head coach Jim Morgans on Central. “They were prepared for us and used their skill players in good ways on both sides of the ball. We were tested tonight and it’s a good win for our football team.”
Trojan quarterback Devante Cross came up with his usual stellar performance, throwing for 149 yards and rushing for 69 more and two touchdowns
It was the Trojan defense that consistently performed well all night. Led by senior captain Erik DiGirolamo and defensive end Billy Danko, Parkland kept Central’s offense in check for more than three quarters, never giving Viking quarterback Ethan Persa time to make a play in the backfield. It was the first time the defensive unit got to play a full four quarters. And the players were happy to stay on the field longer than they had the first two weeks.
“The first two games, we only had our starters in for the first half, so we welcome these kind of games,” said DiGirolamo, who also led the team in rushing with 89 yards. “We love playing a full game. We had to come out fast on defense because Central has a lot of athletes on offense. We just carried our energy from defense to offense.”
DiGirolamo scored the game’s second touchdown from two yards away midway through the second quarter.
Persa was sacked seven times and the Trojans defense made 13 stops for negative yards.
“It was unbelievable,” Morgans said about his defense. “Even though we gave them great field position at times, which didn’t make me happy, the defense did everything it had to do and was outstanding.”
Sophomore Jahan Worth added 70 yards on the ground and found the end zone late in the second quarter.
Persa found a break-through in the fourth. He threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Kassis and then broke off a 65-yard run down the sideline that setup the Vikings second touchdown, which Alvin Pacheco ran in from eight yards out.
The Trojans will travel to take on Pocono Mountain West on Friday night.