Southern Lehigh runs past Notre Dame
Patriots take care of business offensively late to seal win
With the ball at its 43-yard line and a fourth down coming, Freedom kept its offense on the field late in Friday’s fourth quarter.
The Patriots used their size and strength to extend their game-clinching drive.
Jalen Stewart pushed for 2 yards when Freedom needed 1 for a fresh set of downs against Parkland. Five more carries shared between quarterback Jared Jenkins, Stewart and Matt Russin allowed the Patriots to enter victory formation, their 21-18 EPC South football win at Parkland School District Stadium secured.
Freedom (3-0 overall, 2-0 EPC South) burned the final 6 minutes, 38 seconds off the clock after Parkland (2-1, 1-1) scored 11 straight points to pull within a field goal. Stewart’s 2-yard run on fourth-and-one from the 43-yard line represented a show of faith by Freedom coach Jason Roeder.
“With Jalen Stewart in the backfield and my guys up front, I had no doubt we were going to get that,” Jenkins said. “We need 1 yard and we have a 220-pound Division I back in our backfield, he’s going to get that 1 yard anytime we need him to.”
Freedom needed every yard it managed on its final possession to finish off the Trojans. Parkland played without three injured senior captains (Nick Dawkins, Luke Dauberman and Dante Medlar). It lost two more players during Friday’s game, forcing kids with limited reps onto the field.
The Trojans refused to fold, with Nick Johnston delivering several of their biggest plays. He returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown to give them a 7-0 secondquarter lead. He added 62 yards on a jet sweep to set up a 23-yard Humza Imam field goal late in the third quarter and caught a 3-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
A two-point pass from Tanner Lewis to Jordan Lewis pulled Parkland with 21-18. It never touched the football again.
“I’m proud of the effort,” Parkland coach Tim Moncman said. “A loss is a loss; it hurts.
But we’re asking guys to step up, and they did. We battled for 48 minutes. They’re a hell of a football team.
“Hopefully we see them again sometime down the road.”
Jenkins turns on the jets
Freedom built a 21-7 lead in part by turning Jenkins loose on the ground. He led the Patriots in carries (14) and rushing yards (76).
Jenkins had runs of 24, 20 and 11 yards. Some of his carries came via Freedom’s game plan. Others were reads against Parkland’s defense.
“Parkland is just so good on defense, they’re just so sound, you’ve got to try to look for some kind of wrinkle or some kind of extra against them,” Roeder said. “Tonight it was Jared.”
Jenkins also enjoyed an efficient night through the air. He completed 17 of 22 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
His first scoring pass went for 29 yards to freshman Owen JohnsonMcCormick. He added a 23-yard strike to Vince Reph (six catches, 73 yards) to give the Patriots a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter.
Freedom returns home Friday to face Nazareth (3-0 overall, 2-0 EPC South), which hammered Central Catholic 49-7. Parkland heads to Bethlehem Area School District Stadium for a Saturday matchup with Bethlehem Catholic (2-1, 1-1).
Freedom’s Vincent Reph drives down the field against Parkalnd at Orefield Middle School on Friday night.
Jared Jenkins, with ball, and Freedom held on for a 21-18 win over Parkland in Friday’s EPC South football showdown.