Zephs outpace FHS in EPC shootout
If you’re going into a shootout with Whitehall’s football team, you better have enough bullets to keep up and that just wasn’t the case for the Patriots in last Friday’s home defeat.
Whitehall used an array of big plays throughout the night to pull away with a 45-37 victory that had the Pates playing catch up all night.
Zephyr QB Ethan Parvel put on a dazzling display, throwing for four touchdowns on the night with 205 yards through the air and another 181 yards rushing.
A 24-point second quarter by the Zephyrs put Freedom in a 31-14 halftime bind, as they reeled off four TD’s in the frame, forcing Freedom to play catch up the rest of the way.
“Without looking at the film, we didn’t tackle well and that’s bothersome for us,” said Freedom head coach Jason Roeder. “Credit Whitehall. They’re a tremendous team and they forced us into some bad plays too.”
After Whitehall jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter, running back Abdul Beasley gave the Pates life with a 91-yard TD run to cut the lead in half with 8:46 in the second quarter.
But as the shootout would go, Whitehall answered 23 seconds later, when Parvel hit Dez Boykin on a 70-yard TD pass.
Whitehall (5-2) added a 36-yard field goal by Alex Khouri and another 43-yard TD pass to Joe Herman in the frame to build a 31-7 advantage before Freedom QB Jared Jenkins hit Kyree Marshburn with an eight-yard score just before halftime.
Beasley, who ran for 204 yards and two touchdowns on the night, started the second half off with a shot of momentum, picking off Parvel on one his few mistakes on the night and taking it 77-yards for a score to make it 31-21 with 9:29 to play in the period.
Whitehall and Parvel would answer on their next drive with a 13-yard TD pass to Dabriel Ayala, followed by a two-yard TD run by Shavar Hussett with 8:04 in the fourth to make it 45-21.
Whitehall’s offense produced 28 first downs on the night, compared to Freedom’s eight, as the Zephyrs dominated on offense, but continued to highlight a leaky defense that has plagued them all season.
Jenkins was 7-of-17 for 173 yards and two scores to complement Beasley’s stellar night on the ground.
The Pates (4-3) made things interesting with a 23-yard TD run by Beasley in the fourth, followed by a 74-yard TD throw from Jenkins to Justus Grube with under a minute left to make it a one score game.
But the ensuing onside kick was kicked out of bounds and Freedom’s chances went with it too.
With the opportunity to win the EPC South looking slim to none for the Patriots, the focus of qualifying for districts comes to the forefront with this week’s contest against a dangerous Nazareth (3-4) team.
“We have high character kids in the program that want to get better and we’ll be ready to go,” said Roeder. “We start the season with the goals of winning the city championship, league championship and district championship. The league is off the table right now and we just have to work harder on trying to achieve our final two goals.”
The Hurricanes won their second straight game of the season with last week’s 35-14 victory over Northampton.
The win keeps the Hurricanes (3-4) in sixth spot in the District 11 6A rankings for the postseason.
Nasir Legree had a monster night, rushing for 330 yards and five touchdowns to pick Liberty out of a 14-7 first quarter hole and score the game’s final 28 points.
Quarterback Todd Erney was back under center and completed 9-of-16 passes for 131 yards.
The Hurricanes now face a pivotal contest this week on the road when they travel to Emmaus (4-3) for a key battle in playoff positioning.