Frequent postseason football foe awaits
Parkland and Easton in the District 11 football playoffs. That’s nothing new, and it’s music to the ears of Trojans and Red Rovers fans, along with unbiased high school football fans in the Lehigh Valley.
These two teams have met in each of the last five district tournaments, with Parkland coming away as the victor in every one of them.
Each game has been close, however, and the two teams battle until the very end in this rivalry of two of the most successful programs in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11.
This Friday night at Parkland School District Stadium, they will meet in the District 11 Class 6A semifinal round.
“It is always a very physical game and has become a bit of a rivalry over the last couple of years,” said head coach Tim Moncman. “Both teams have had success and usually are evenly matched. It’s going to be another good game.”
The top seed Trojans (11-0 overall) are coming off a 36-23 victory over Liberty last weekend in the quarterfinals where they had to comeback from down nine points in the fourth quarter.
The fourth-seeded Red Rovers (7-4) enter on the heels of an impressive 35-7 win against Nazareth last Friday night, a team that beat them on their home field just a week before.
“When districts come around and the bright lights are on, Easton plays at a higher level,” Moncman said. “This is an experienced team when it comes to winning in the postseason. They know how to do it.”
If last week was any indication, senior running back Jahan Worth is dialed in. He scored five touchdowns and put the team on his back in carrying the offense to the fourth-quarter comeback victory.
“We always want to establish the run and try to stop it,” Moncman said. “We are going to have to put the ball in the air with how good their front seven is.”
Against the Blue Eagles last weekend, Easton rushed for 264 yards and 191 yards through the air. Running back Israel Selassie racked up 181 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries.
The Red Rovers defense held Nazareth scoreless until late when the mercy rule was already in effect.
“The system is still very similar to the [Steve] Shiffert teams with a few wrinkles,” said Moncman, referring to the long-time Red Rover head coach left after last season. “They are still Easton kids and that means it will be a physical game.”
The winner of this one will take on the winner of Pocono Mountain West and Freedom in the district final next Friday night.