PHS defense shuts down Warriors
When the final seconds ran off the clock at Wyoming Valley West High School last Friday night, Parkland walked away with a 63-21 win that probably wasn’t even as close of a game as the score indicated. And that was mostly the result of the Trojan defense shutting down one of the state’s top offenses.
Besides a pick-six touchdown, and a late score in the fourth quarter when the game was already wrapped up, the Parkland defense allowed just seven points against a team averaging more than 30 points per game.
“I know they’ve played some good competition this year, and they haven’t really been stopped,” said PHS head coach Jim Morgans. “But I can’t say enough about our guys on defense and how well they’ve played. They shut them down and have been the backbone of our team and the reason we are as far as we are.”
Included within the 63 points scored by the Trojans, were two defensive touchdowns scored by a pair of defensive linemen.
Senior Noel Brouse intercepted a pass and ran it back 30 yards for a score. Then in the third quarter, sophomore Jahan Worth recovered a fumble and brought it back 28 yards for a touchdown.
The game was tied 14-14 in the first quarter before Parkland scored 49 straight points and only gave up a late score.
“We just kept on fighting forward,” Brouse said. “We kept saying ‘next play, next play’ because we had the momentum at the beginning.
“We made some mistakes early and allowed some points, but then we just started to grind on offense and defense and we just continued to play hard on both sides of the ball for the rest of the game.”
After the midseason loss to Liberty on October 9, where the Trojans gave up 41 points, they have given up only 8.6 points per game over the seven games since.
Parkland’s front seven have been dominant at times. Brouse, Palmer Kerch, DJ Hohman, Worth, Erik DiGirolamo, Marios Delos, and Frank Guida have given quarterbacks little time to think and running backs little room to run.
With a quarterfinal round matchup against a Philadelphia Catholic League team, the game and opponent that has haunted the Trojans the last three years, the defense will need to step up once again and slow down an athletic team.