Knowing that they had to put points on the scoreboard against a powerful rushing attack, the Parkland football team did more than enough scoring to send it into the District 2-11 Class 4A Subregional playoff this weekend rolling on a high note.
Six touchdowns, three on the ground and three through the air, gave the Trojans (8-2 overall, 6-2 EPC South) confidence heading into districts after a 41-14 rivalry win at Emmaus (5-5 overall, 3-5 EPC South) last Friday night. It was the third straight victory for Parkland.
For the majority of the Parkland girls volleyball team, the last time they experienced a state win, let alone a state tournament game atmosphere, they were little-used sophomores and freshmen.
That year, in 2012, the Trojans reached the state final. And after failing to reach the PIAA tournament in 2013, the top-ranked team in the state is back where it belongs, and moving towards another state championship.
At the beginning of every season, head coach Mike Krause lays out the goals and expectations for his team for the year. And every year the same four phases or goals are expected: win the league, win the conference playoffs, win the district tournament and become state champions.
Phase three of the season was accomplished last Thursday night with a 3-0 win in the District 11 final against rival Emmaus at Whitehall High School. Parkland won by scores of 25-15, 27-25, and 25-13 to improve to 22-0 overall this season.
After winning on the road at Emmaus last Friday night 41-14, Parkland's third straight win, the Trojans will now hit the road again for the first round of the District 2-11 Subregional tournament Friday. The No. 7 seed in Class AAAA, Parkland will take on second-seeded Stroudsburg.
Even with a low seed and a far trip, the Trojans are just glad to be back in the district tournament, so they can go for their third consecutive title.
The Parkland field hockey team had its chances, but it wasn't able to capitalize on them. It only took one from Northampton to send the Trojans home 1-0 in the District 11 quarterfinal last Saturday afternoon at Northampton high school.
Hallie Muffley scored off a pass from Makenna Marhefka in the first half, and the Konkrete Kids held on to eliminate Parkland (11-7-2). It is the third straight year the Trojans have fallen in the quarterfinal round.
Heading into the final regular season game in the newly structured Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, the Parkland football team is looking for a win in hopes of improving its seeding for the district playoffs.
Two losses in three weeks had put pressure on the Trojans to win out their final three games, and so far so good. Wins against Freedom and then Nazareth leaves Parkland (7-2 overall) with a road matchup against rival Emmaus to help with its playoff positioning.
Parkland has the game it has wanted now for over a year. It is not just another game against a rival. It is not just the fourth time against the same opponent this season, second in a playoff final. It is a rematch against the team that sent the Trojans home without a district title a year ago.
Last year the Lehigh Valley Conference champion Trojans were upset by Emmaus, 3-0 in the District 11 Class AAA semifinal. But with Parkland's 3-0 sweep over Nazareth Tuesday night at Whitehall High School, Parkland eyes a bit of revenge against Emmaus in Thursday's title match.
Jarey Elder used his legs, and some open space created for him by his blockers, to single-handedly put his Parkland football team ahead 14-0 with two consecutive touchdowns en route to a 41-6 win over Nazareth.
The senior took a handoff and ran downfield for 51 yards on the Trojans' first possession last week in their final regular season home game. Then, after a Nazareth three-and-out, Elder returned a punt for 50 yards as Parkland outmatched the Blue Eagles all night for a senior night win at Parkland School District Stadium.
Coming off of its second loss of the season, the Parkland football team needed a win to gather some momentum heading into the final weeks of the regular season. It was a senior that stepped up the week before his final home game.
Preston Saylor came up big on both sides of the ball, rushing for a touchdown and clinching the game with an interception in the fourth quarter.
All season long the Parkland Trojans have been the best volleyball team in the area, as their No. 1 state ranking for a better half of the year showed. So it was fitting that in the inaugural East Penn Conference final, the championship would go to the top team. And the Trojans would not be denied that honor, sweeping the championship match against Emmaus by scores of 25-13, 25-22, and 25-18 last Thursday night at Whitehall high school.