Justin Evans scored just one of Parkland’s four goals last Saturday afternoon, but his was the last and the game-winner in a 4-3 victory over Freedom in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference quarterfinals at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium.
“It was a big goal for me and for the team,” Evans said. “It was the game-winner so it helped my team win. That’s what matters most, that we’re moving on.”
In the opening 30 minutes it looked as if Freedom was going to win this one rather easily.
The Parkland football team bounced back from its first loss of the season with a dominating win at Easton last Friday night. Now this weekend, the Trojans will face another test and look to take down Freedom (7-0), the only remaining unbeaten team in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
A week after the Trojan defense was burned by Liberty for 41 points, it did not allow a touchdown from the Red Rovers in taking a 21-3 victory.
If game one was any sign of what was to come, it was going to be a long night for Parkland at the Hornets Nest at Emmaus High School last Monday night in an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference game for Parkland.
It went to the final point, and every ball hit over the net received loud cheers from the large crowd in a playoff-like atmosphere, where pink was the color of choice for breast cancer awareness.
But Parkland showed why it is the defending PIAA champions and ranked as the top team in the state.
In week 5 against Whitehall, Parkland faced its first deficit of the season. However, it didn’t take the Trojans long to erase that and take a lead against the Zephyrs.
But last Friday night in Parkland’s week 6 game at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium, it was a different story.
Liberty (5-1) scored 34 unanswered points and held on late to defeat the Trojans and hand them their first loss of the season 41-34.
Head coach Jim Morgans and the Parkland football team is checking the weather channel and hoping for a better environment on the turf as it travels to Bethlehem Area School District Stadium to face Liberty (4-1) Friday night.
Last Friday the Trojans had to come from behind for the first time all year, due in large part to sloppy conditions in the rain and wind to take down rival Whitehall 42-28.
Like Whitehall, Liberty’s offense runs through its senior quarterback. Doug Erney threw for four touchdowns last week as the Hurricanes held on to defeat Emmaus 34-31.
Maybe it was the rain, or the mud, or the wind. But none of the players or coaches will say it was.
Maybe it was the rivalry. That’s more likely the answer.
Whatever it was really had the Parkland football team in a funk last Friday night. The Trojans faced their first deficit of the season, down 8-0 and 14-13 to Whitehall before senior quarterback Devante Cross led the charge in a comeback for a 42-28 win at Parkland School District stadium.
The Parkland-Whitehall rivalry has been a fierce one for a long time. In football the last two years, the teams have split their meetings with the Trojans winning two years ago and the Zephyrs taking the latest game last year at home.
But this year seems a bit different. Whitehall is struggling after losing 20 of 22 starters and has started the year 2-2. Parkland is coming off a dominant performance last Friday in a 63-20 win at Pocono Mountain West to remain undefeated at 4-0.
The game should have been over twice, or so it seemed. But two goals were disallowed, which prevented any scoring in another chapter of the Emmaus-Parkland boys soccer rivalry last Saturday night at Lehigh County Sports Complex.
The Green Hornets found the back of the net off of a corner kick late in the first half, but it was called offside. The Trojans ripped a shot that pierced the net but the final whistle blew just as the kick was made and did not count.
Through its first two games, the Parkland football team had not been challenged. The Trojans won their first two games over Dieruff and Northampton by a combined score of 87-14.
But last Friday night at Parkland School District Stadium, Central Catholic gave the Trojans all they could handle.
Parkland scored 28 unanswered points and then held on after the Vikings scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter for a 28-14 victory and a 3-0 start to the season.
Boys soccer games between Emmaus and Parkland have always been intense, and sometimes chippy. The players and coaches know each other well, and each program wants and expects to win, so that makes each game of this rivalry better.
But last Saturday night at Lehigh County Sports Complex, the two teams came together for a good cause.
For the last three years, the two rivals have joined forces in helping to raise money for students with cancer.