Parkland wins fourth straight district title
Last Friday night was hyped up to be another typical Parkland-Easton clash in the Class AAAA subregional football tournament. But the Trojans quickly put that notion aside with dominant performances on both sides of the ball.
A 24-point second quarter put the game out of reach, as Parkland’s defense pitched a shutout in a 37-0 mercy rule win against the Red Rovers at Parkland School District Stadium. The Trojans move on to this Friday’s subregional final against
“It’s a great win beating a good Easton team and not giving them a point, that’s awesome,” said Zach Bross. “It was a great statement game for us and a great team win.”
As head coach Jim Morgans went to address his team on the field after the game, he did not know whether to celebrate another district title just yet, or to start looking at a rematch next week.
At around 10 pm, the game in Kingston finally ended. District 2 champion Wyoming Valley West knocked off Liberty 55-35, which meant Parkland (11-1) clinched its fourth consecutive District 11 title. The Trojans are the first team in District 11 history to accomplish the feat.
There was no scoring in the first quarter. Both teams had long drives that resulted in no points early on. But in the second quarter, the Trojans exploded for 24 points.
Senior quarterback Devante Cross had his hand in all three as he connected with fellow classmate Kenny Yeboah from 67 yards out and 17. Cross also took one in himself from 45 yards away. Add in a 35 yard field goal by Donovan Berger, and the game was seemingly out of reach by halftime.
After an Easton drive was halted at the 10-yard line late in the first quarter, the Trojans did not allow them a whiff of the red zone again. They sacked Red Rover quarterbacks five times and only allowed 104 yards of total offense.
“Practice has been key for us,” said Bross. “Coach [Tim] Moncman gets us prepared with high-tempo. We’re always running to the ball and playing until the whistle. The way we practice leads into the game.”
The front seven of Noel Brouse, Palmer Kerch, D.J. Hohman, Jahan Worth, Erik DiGirolamo, Marios Delos and Frank Guida gave little room for Red Rovers speedy back Nysir Minney-Gratz to work, which was the game plan coming in. He was held to 37 yards.
“I’m so proud of those kids,” Morgans said. “They play so aggressive. They understand the concepts. If you can get kids to understand total concepts, this guy over here knows what this guy over here is doing. That’s the best.”
Yeboah added his third touchdown grab late in the third quarter. DiGirolamo’s 15-yard run capped put the game at the mercy rule in the fourth quarter.
On the night, Cross eclipsed 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing for the season, while throwing for 211 yards and 119 yards rushing in the win. Yeboah caught 5 for 163 yards and the three scores, and Bross grabbed three for 28.