Trojans top Zephyrs
It may have been the festivities and fun atmosphere of homecoming weekend, or it may have been playing a rival on the opposite side of the field, but whatever it was, the Parkland football team found its mojo last Friday night.
The Trojans (5-2 overall, 4-2 EPC South) put together a strong second half to take down Whitehall 49-21 last Friday night at Parkland School District Stadium for their third straight win, the team’s longest win streak of the season.
It was a slow start for Parkland, as Whitehall scored 14 of the game’s first 21 points on back-to-back touchdowns to take a 14-7 lead with 10:52 left in the second quarter. But the Trojans went on to score 42 unanswered points over the span of two-and-a-half quarters to take control of the game and put it out of reach.
“We just try to win the week at this point,” said Parkland head coach Tim Moncman. “Every win is important to us from here on out. We need every game. We needed to play well to beat Whitehall. I don’t care what their record is.”
Parkland began the year with two consecutive wins, but followed that up with two straight losses. Since then it has found its best football of the season.
Senior running back Dominic Nelson, who has risen from a third string player to a must-need starter in recent weeks, was the star of Friday night’s game. He finished with 12 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns, along with catching two passes for 22 yards in winning the Joe Gerenscer Award given to the annual Parkland-Whitehall game MVP.
The Trojans running backs rushed for 293 yards in helping complete the comeback.
“I have confidence in myself and confidence in my team,” said Nelson. “It just took us a little while to click. I think we’re playing really well right now.”
Junior quarterback Tanner Lewis continues his improved play this season, completing 11-of-12 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns, to go along with five rushes for 36 yards and a score.
Senior wide receiver Connor Bernecker caught both of Lewis’s touchdown passes in completing a night of four receptions for 68 yards.
After Nelson’s three-yard touchdown run opened the scoring on Parkland’s first drive, Whitehall recorded the next two touchdowns via quarterback Anthony Nanoah (one throwing, one rushing) to take the lead.
But from that point it was all Parkland.
Angel Ramos sandwiched a 39-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown between the two Bernecker touchdowns.
Then the Trojans defense shutdown the Zephyrs offense. Whitehall rushed 32 times for just 39 yards.
“We pride ourselves on shutting down the run,” said Moncman. “Our front four is very, very good.”
Parkland travels to take on Stroudsburg (6-1, 6-0), which is coming off a win against second place Northampton, on Friday night. The Mountaineers lead the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference North Division and are very likely to be a district playoff team that the Trojans could see in the postseason.