Parkland advances in dominating performance over Wyoming Valley West
Kingston- The Wyoming Valley West Spartan football team came into their contest Friday night at home against the District 11 champions Parkland Trojans with some confidence after defeating both Nazareth and Liberty in consecutive weeks.
However, after the final whistle blew at Spartan Stadium, the Spartans ended up on the short end of a 63-21 dismantling by the Trojans, much to the surprise of the standing room only crowd.
The Spartans, who only gave up a total of 78 points to its opposition during the regular season, saw Parkland score 49 consecutive points in putting the game away. Devonte Cross completed six of eight passes for 137 yards with three touchdowns. He rushed for 171 yards and two scores. Erik DiGirolamo added 111 yards in the victory.
“They are a very talented team. I’d be surprised if they don’t make a deep run into these playoffs,” said a disappointed Spartan coach Pat Keating after the contest.
Valley West hung in there with the Trojans into the second quarter matching a one-yard run by DiGirolamo with a 19 yard run by Devon Weidman. Cross then hooked up Nolan Ridgeway on a 48 yard bomb. Then Sean Judge electrified the crowd with a 100-yard interception return to tie the game at 14 with about eight minutes left before halftime.
That score seemed to ignite the Trojans as well. Cross led his team on a 78 yard drive culminating in the quarterback running it in from 15 yards and a 21-14 lead.
After forcing Valley West to punt on their next possession, Cross wasted little time as he ran down the home sideline 77 yards to extend the lead to 28-14.
On the first play of the ensuing drive for the Spartans, Aaron Austin’s pass was
picked off by Noel Blouse and returned 25 yards for a Trojan score. On that play Austin was knocked out of the game and replaced by Judge for the remainder of the contest.
Parkland recovered the ensuing kickoff, when the ball took an odd bounce near the sideline and stayed in play. Cross then hooked up with Kenny Yeboah on a 23-yard fade pass with about two minutes to go in the quarter.
Parkland got the ball back one more time before halftime near midfield and with four seconds left on the clock, Cross threw a high fade to Yeboah at the 12, Yeboah as he was being brought down flipped the ball to teammate Zach Bross, who dove over the pylon for the score and a 49-14 lead at intermission.
The beginning of the second half was unkind to the host team, as on the first play from scrimmage Valley West fumbled. Jahan Worth scooped up the ball and scored from 28 yards. This extended the lead to 56-14.
Both teams managed to score another time, Parkland on 38 yard run by Nick Suriel and Valley West on a 44-yard pass from Judge to Weidman to close out the scoring.
Parkland (12-1) will advance to play the winner of the LaSalle College/Simon Gratz game next week at a site to be determined. Wyoming Valley West ends its season at 12-1, the best record for that program since 1997.
“We’ve been in this situation four times now. This year we want to finish the journey,” Cross stated afterwards.
Follow EasternPAFootball.com on Twitter @EPAFootball
Share This Post: