Devante Cross’ passing attack dooms Stroudsburg
STROUDSBURG – Parkland’s Devante Cross was like a surgeon Friday night slicing threw the Mounties defense. Cross was near perfect last night executing the short passing attack. He completed 19 of 22 passes for 204 yards and one touchdown to lead the Trojans over previously unbeaten Stroudsburg 33-10 in the first round of the District 2-4-11 Sub-Regional game last night in Stroudsburg.
“We looked at the game film and that was the plan going into the game,” said Parkland’s head football coach Jim Morgans. “Devante did a good job passing tonight and found different receivers.”
Next week the Trojan will travel up north to play Delaware Valley who defeated Wyoming Valley West 38-19.
Parkland’s defense set the tone early forcing Stroudsburg to punt on their opening drive. The Trojans took their opening drive to Stroudsburg’s 19-yard line. They settled for a 36-yard field goal by Jacob Bissell.
Stroudsburg answered back with a Niko Ruiz 36-yard field goal to tie the game up at 3 with 10:28 remaining in the first half.
The Trojans would take the lead on Bissell’s second field goal of the night. A 22-yarder with 6:40 left in the half put Parkland up 6-3.
With 30 seconds remaining in the half the wheels started to fall off.
Parkland went up 13-3 with the combination of Unique Divine’s running attack and Cross throwing the ball. Divine rushed for 46 yards on eight carries and Cross was 3-for-3 passing during the drive. Divine finished off the drive with a one-yard score with 27.7 seconds remaining in the half.
Things got real interesting when Bissell’s onside kick was recovered by Parkland with 23.4 seconds left on Stroudsburg’s 44.
Three plays later Cross hit Kenny Yeboah on a beautiful pass-and-catch for a 25-yard touchdown pass with 5.8 seconds left to put Parkland up 20-3.
“That was a big momentum change for us getting those two touchdowns right before halftime,” said Cross. “We had the ball to start the second half and wanted to score on that drive.”
Parkland marched right down the field with an 11-play drive, capped off by a Nolan Ridgway five-yard touchdown run with 8:14 left in the third quarter. Parkland led 26-3.
The Mounties answered the drive with some trickery. Wide Receiver Marcello Riccardi faked the reverse and hit TJ Backer for the 45-yard touchdown pass with 5:15 remaining in the third quarter. Stroudsburg trailed 26-10.
“We played a complete game tonight,” said Morgans. “We had the one hiccup on the trick play they did.”
Parkland put the nail in the coffin early in the fourth quarter. The Trojans 14-play drive ended on a Ridway one-yard touchdown run to put Parkland up 33-10.
Stroudsburg finished the season with a 10-1 record and won the North Division of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
Note: It was a team effort last night by the Trojans. Defensively, Parkland was led by Amir Wallace who had six sacks in the game and the Trojans defense held the leading rusher in District 11, Stroudsburg’s Gerald Douglas, to only 79 yards and no touchdowns.
Special teams did a good job last night. Bissell’s kicking and punting were key last night.
“Our defense and special teams did a good job last night,” said Morgans.
On offense Ridgway and Divine combined, running for over 100 yards and three touchdowns and Cross was near perfect passing the ball last night.
“We’re peaking at the right time and getting better and better each week, “ said Cross. “We were very balanced tonight and we have great runners and receivers.”
Parkland’s kicker Jacob Bissell tweeted yesterday that he committed to Lafayette College.
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