The Emmaus High School football team suffered a devastating 24-36 defeat as they blew a 14-point second quarter lead to the Nazareth Eagles.
The Hornets began this season as defending Easter
n Pennsylvania Conference champions and entered Friday’s game having won their season opener against the Allen Canaries 62-33. Even with the home field advantage, the Hornets would need every ounce of effort against Nazareth, a team ranked one of the best in the state.
After a quick defensive stop, the Hornets struck first, putting 7 points on the board with a breakaway 82-yard run by junior Brandon Camire. The rest of the first quarter continued on as a defensive slug fest. Stop after stop was made to keep the score at 7-0 by the end of the quarter.
The second quarter began with a well-coordinated drive which ended with Camire scoring another touchdown. This time, he only needed three yards to reach the hole, and the Hornets took a commanding 14-0 lead. The Eagles then came back with a drive of their own, putting 7 points on the board off of Joseph Capobianco’s four yard run. With 6:34 remaining in the quarter, the Hornets looked to gain back a two possession lead going into the half. Camire answered the call once again, breaking away for a 85-yard touchdown, making it his third of the game. The Hornets lead was now 21-7.
The next possession proved to be the turning point of the game. The Eagles marched down the field, but couldn’t find a way to convert in the red zone. It was 4 and 18th on the 32-yard line, and Eagles head coach Tom Falzone decided to roll the dice, going for it all with 1:00 left in the half. The plan worked, as quarterback Anthony Harris connected with Trent Frederico for a 32-yard touchdown, shifting momentum as the teams headed into the locker rooms.
Coming out of the half, the game was quickly tied after Eagles cornerback Nate Stefanik picked off an Alex Lanzone pass and returned for a Nazareth touchdown, tying the game up at 21. Later in the quarter, Stefanik would pick off Lanzone again placing them inside the 20 yard line, and then catch a 62-yard pass from his quarterback to extend the Eagle lead. After a Logan Grom two yard run, and two point conversion, the score was 36-24 with 4:00 left in the third. Plenty of time was left on the clock but it became a wasted opportunity. Neither team scored for the remainder of the game.
While the game didn’t end with the desired result, there’s a lot to learn from this game that the Hornets can use throughout the rest of the season. With only 7 returning seniors on both sides of the ball, this is a young Hornets team. However, it’s the same team that fought its way to the District finals last year. Despite the turnover, the Hornets were able to play a competitive back and forth game with a confidence that will grow as they continue into the season.
Brandon Camire played a spectacular game, ending with 206 yards on only 24 attempts. However, this was mostly created on his two breakaway rushes. The true Hornet struggles came on the offensive line. Camire only rushed for 39 yards on his 22 other carries, and quarterback Alex Lanzone was not protected at all, only passing for 49 yards, and sacked 6 times. If the Hornets can square this away, then it will be a lot easier to stay in games late.
This Friday, the Hornets will go on the road and play Whitehall, and they will return home to take on Pleasant Valley on Sept. 13.