It was an electric night around the stadium at Orefield Middle School last Friday night. Homecoming floats paraded around the stadium track at halftime, and the home team paraded up and down the field.
Parkland used a couple of Bethlehem Catholic turnovers to take a big first half lead, and cruise to a 49-6 win.
The Trojans (7-1, 6-1) made some big plays offensively, and the defense was all over the field, stopping any potential Golden Hawks (4-3, 3-4) scoring drives.
The new-look, 18-team Lehigh Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference got some clarity last week when initial reports of potential scheduling and divisional alignment surfaced.
Athletic directors from all schools met recently to hash out what the future of the LVC would look like and the rumored talks of Bethlehem Catholic moving up north for football appear to be in order.
As most sports know their playoff fates this week, girls volleyball still is up in the air.
As of press time Tuesday morning, the 3A and 2A playoff brackets in volleyball were undetermined because of regular season matches still being played Monday and Tuesday nights.
With Liberty and Freedom both out of the postseason, that leaves Bethlehem Catholic (12-6) as the only local team competing in the postseason.
The Hawks won the district title last year and are looking to repeat for the first time since winning back-to-back titles in 2007-08.
A season full of minimal twists finally brings some intrigue this week with perhaps the most evenly matched up games in the poll this year.
Can Whitehall steal a win at Easton?
Has Nazareth hit their full stride heading into the final two weeks?
Will a reeling Bethlehem Catholic wake up from their slump?
And who earns the right to say they play second fiddle in the Colonial League?
All things are answered in this week's top ten.
1. Parkland (7-1)
Last week's rank: 1
Trojans keep rolling.
The Pick: Parkland 42- Central Catholic 14
For the second consecutive year, Freedom's undefeated cross country season led to a Lehigh Valley Conference Championship on Tuesday at the Bethlehem Municipal Field.
The Patriots won with 33 points, while runner-up Parkland had 66 points. Easton was third with 95 points, followed by Liberty with 105 points, and Bethlehem Catholic had 210 points, finishing in seventh place.
Edtor's Note: The state golf tournament takes place after Bethlehem Press deadlines.
Last year, Freedom's Helen Hsu left the PIAA East Regional with nothing as she shot a 97.
Last Tuesday the junior departed the tournament with a packet of information for states.
Hsu received that packet after carding an 82 at Golden Oaks Golf Club in Fleetwood, Pa. and finishing 11th in the AAA girls' class, which qualified her for the state tournament as the top 12 advance.
She talked about how she felt after getting the official word that she qualified.
It was just what Freedom's football team needed Saturday night, no matter how much it rained on their parade.
The Patriots (2-6, 2-5) ended a five-game skid by blowing open a 3-0 halftime lead into 28-second half points for a 31-7 demolition over Northampton.
Northampton turned the ball over on their first two offensive plays of the third quarter to set up 14-points for the Pates, which the winless Kids (0-8) could never recover from.
Maybe it was the heat, and maybe it was the hills, but the Lehigh Valley Conference Girls Cross Country Championship Meet was a slow race by most standards last week at the Bethlehem Municipal Field.
"Usually, they go out really hard. It was a strange start. The top ten were together for a good part of the race," said Freedom junior, Shaina Palmer, who placed seventh in 20:33.
Also in the top ten was Freedom freshman, Olivia Salerno, who placed eighth in 20:41.
Last Friday night Emmaus (5-2 overall, 5-1 in LVC) defeated Liberty (3-4, 2-4) at East Penn School District Stadium by a final score of 29-7 under some gloomy weather conditions that included a rain shower during the second quarter.
But it was the Hurricanes who came out storming to start the game as their first play from scrimmage, an 88-yard pass and catch from Doug Erney to K.J. Williams, resulted in a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
Joe Henrich wasn't afraid to give Nazareth credit following its 28-14 victory over Bethlehem Catholic Saturday night.
But Henrich certainly wasn't happy with how his team played at home against an opponent that has struggled to get a foot hold in the Lehigh Valley Conference this season.
The Blue Eagles dominating night was led by star running back Jordan Gray's 201-yard, two-touchdown performance, which helped keep Nazareth (4-3, 3-3) above water following a 47-6 blowout loss to Parkland the previous week.