PHS downs Del Val in D-11 first round
The Parkland football offense has some dynamic playmakers. Many opposing defenses key in on quarterback Devante Cross and wideout Kenny Yeboah, who have connected for eight touchdowns this season. But last Friday night at Parkland School District Stadium, senior running back Erik DiGirolamo did all of the scoring in powering the Trojans past Delaware Valley 28-10 in the quarterfinals of the District 2-11 Class AAAA tournament.
It was the first full year that DiGirolamo has taken carries in the backfield, but there haven’t been many rookie mistakes. As the veteran presence in the backfield, he has carried much of the workload on the ground, along with Cross.
“I just do what I can do to help my team,” DiGirolamo said. “You have to establish a running game, especially on nights like this when it’s windy and we can’t throw it like we normally do. Even when it’s not windy, we have to establish the run first to open up the passing game. I just do what I can.”
And with the weather conditions the way that they were Friday night, Cross only threw 11 times for 109 yards, but his classmate did all he could to keep the hopes alive for another district championship.
DiGirolamo accounted for 26 carries for 111 yards and the four scores. Between him and Cross the two ran the ball 43 times for 215 yards.
DiGirolamo scored in each of the first two quarters. But after the Warriors returned a bobbled snap when the Trojans punted in the second quarter, they added a quick field goal and brought the score to just 14-10 at halftime.
Parkland (10-1 overall) took control in the third quarter on a pair of DiGirolamo touchdowns inside the five yard-line.
“Our kids came out in the second half and we drove the ball and got two big touchdowns,” head coach Jim Morgans said. “They did an outstanding job.”
As what seems to be the norm around this time every year, the Trojan defense stepped up when it needed to most.
Senior Noel Brouse intercepted a pass, which set up the final scoring drive in the third quarter. The Parkland defense held Del Val to just 13 yards of offense in the second half.
“Our defense played a heck of a game,” said Morgans. “Again I give credit to [defensive coordinator] Timmy Monceman in getting the kids prepared each game. They really stepped up and won us the game in the second half.”
The victory sets up a fourth straight postseason meeting with Easton, a 20-3 winner over Freedom, in the semifinals on Friday night back at Parkland School District Stadium.