Parkland to face PCL champ again
After winning a fourth straight District 11/2 subregional title, Parkland meets a familiar opponent in the quarterfinal round of the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs. Philadelphia Catholic League champ LaSalle College High School, a team that defeated Parkland in this game three years ago, will be the Trojans’ next obstacle as the team’s meet Saturday at 1 p.m. at Northeast High School in Philadelphia.
For the last two years, the Trojans were taken down by fellow PCL champ Saint Joe’s Prep. While St. Joe’s beat LaSalle in the regular season, the Explorers (9-3) got revenge in the PCL championship with a 29-28 win over the Hawks. LaSalle beat Simon Gratz for the to become champs of the city and advance to this week’s state playoff game.
The 2012 Explorers had a lot of firepower with several Division I college-bound players on both sides of the ball. This year’s game could a lot different.
“Three years ago, that was a really good football team,” Morgans said. “This year I don’t think they’re as good. They are good, but we just couldn’t do anything against them [in 2012]. I think [this year] we have a team that could give them some trouble.”
LaSalle’s losses this season came to some of the best teams in the state and beyond. They were beaten by DeMatha of Hyattsville, Maryland, on Sept. 18 and fell to Class AAA power Archbishop Wood, 27-24 on Oct. 10.
Parkland (12-1) has the offensive weapons to match any team score-for-score. The Trojans are also stout on defense. And that was in full effect last Friday night in Kingston with a 63-21 victory over Wyoming Valley West.
Senior quarterback Devante Cross recorded five touchdowns, three through the air and two on the ground. Kenny Yeboah, Nolan Ridgway, and Zach Bross each caught a touchdown pass, and Erik DiGirolamo ran one in.
“We have some players, some upperclassmen, that are really stepping up for us and making plays,” said Morgans. “We can play with the best of them.”
The Trojans’ first-team defense allowed just one touchdown last weekend. The unit has been the backbone of the team and kept Parkland a float on this run, according to Morgans.
LaSalle enters the state playoffs on a six game winning streak and will play the game just a few miles from it’s campus.