Saucon Valley Clinches Third Consecutive Colonial League Title
By Brian Ptashinski @BPtashinski on Twitter
EASTON- In a game that lived up to the hype and exception, the Panthers of Saucon Valley clinched at least a tie for Colonial League title Friday by defeating Notre Dame-Green Pond before a packed house on Notre Dame’s senior night by a score of 28-24.
The Panthers jumped out to a 14-point lead behind a Zach Petiet two-yard run, that capped off a 88-yard drive after holding Notre Dame on downs. Kory Kemmerer was on the receiving end of a 21-yard pass from Brandon Holub with 2:05 left in the half.
Notre Dame managed to get on the board with under a minute to play in the half, with the help of a penalty on Saucon, which gave ND possession at the visitor’s 30. On the next play Cole DeFranco connected with Timmy Costantino, putting the lead to 14-7 at intermission. The Crusaders continued the scoring streak into the third quarter as DeFranco cashed in on a three-yard run at the 8:30 mark of the quarter and Tucker Eighmy nailed a 37-yard field goal with 3:58 remaining in the third, giving the Crusaders their first lead 17-14.
Saucon Valley (8-1) ended the 17-point run, as Holub connected with Alstan Wolfe on a five-yard pass. This was set up by a pass interception in the end zone by Kemmerer. The score gave the visitors a 21-17 lead with about seven minutes to play in the contest.
Notre Dame still had a lot of game left in their system as DeFranco hit a wide open Jalen Simpson for a 38-yard pass, giving his team a 24-21 lead with just 5:16 left on the clock.
That setup the game winning drive for the Panthers as they took the ball at their 20. Facing a critical third down at the Crusader six, Holub called his own number and kept driving towards the end zone and carried in a pile of players for the score with one minute to play and a 28-24 lead.
Notre Dame got one more chance, but as the rain came down, DeFranco lost the handle of the slippery ball and the fumble was recovered by Saucon. They ran out the clock for the victory. The win sets up a showdown next week with Palisades (7-2) in Hellertown The pirates defeated Pen Argyl 28-13 Friday night.
“Holy Moly,” said Saucon coach Phil Sams as he talked to the media after the win. “Not enough words to really say what I am feeling. Just an amazing game all-around,” he concluded.
Zach Petiet led the way for the Panthers as he carried the ball 38 times for 274 yards and a score. Holub passed for 113 yards and two scores in the win. Notre Dame drops to 7-2, and with back-to back losses will face Wilson (0-8) next Saturday.
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