PHS blows away Hurricanes, 24-7
The last two years, the Liberty football team had success against Parkland. The Hurricanes had beaten the five-time defending District 11 champs in each of the last two regular seasons.
But last Friday night was a different story.
Turnovers and penalties terrorized the Hurricanes as they fell to Parkland 24-7 in their Eastern Pennsylvania Conference home opener at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium.
“We came out with the attitude that we knew this was a big game,” said Trojan senior Mason Malozzi. “They’ve beaten us recently and we really wanted this one. We practiced really hard this week and couldn’t wait to get on the field. We were up for it, and I know they were too.
“All we heard all week was that Parkland doesn’t like to play physical. We came in with an attitude tonight and it started on the defensive side of the ball. We came out here excited and played this like it was a state championship game.”
Liberty (1-2 overall, 0-2 EPC South) turned the ball over four times, three of which led to points for Parkland. The Hurricanes also committed nine penalties.
“Coach [Tim] Moncman is a defensive guy, and he instills that in us,” Malozzi said. “We play fast. We play physical. And we all storm to the ball as a unit. Tonight we had interceptions, blocked punts, sacks, fumble recoveries. The defense did everything you could ask for tonight.”
The Trojans (3-0, 2-0) have allowed only 13 points during the first three games of the season.
The Liberty defense held firm on their first series, forcing Parkland to a three-and-out. But on their ensuing offensive possession, the Hurricanes lost the first of two fumbles on the night.
The Trojans took full advantage, driving 54 yards on five plays, all by senior running back Jahan Worth. Worth capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown run. He led the game with 21 carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns. He has seven scores on the year.
Malozzi scored on an 18-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to put the score at 14-0.
Liberty junior quarterback Todd Erney rushed for 75 of his team’s 116 yards on 11 carries. But the offense just couldn’t muster up any longstanding scoring drives.
The Hurricanes began the second half by driving to Parkland’s 7-yard line. But in the next four plays they managed just six yards and turned the ball over on downs.
Worth added his second touchdown from four-yards out. That was preceded by another Hurricanes fumble inside their own 10-yard line.
Liberty’s touchdown occurred on a blocked punt with 26 seconds left in the game. Trevor Harris blocked the punt and recovered it in the end zone.
But it didn’t matter. The Trojans got the victory and some revenge.
“It means a lot,” said Malozzi about the win and 3-0 start. “Especially our senior class knowing this is our last go-around. We want to be the best, and that means going undefeated and winning big games. We have to go game by game, but we want to go for it all this year.”