BETHLEHEM, Pa. - D'Andre Swift plowed for a fourth-down conversion, and the Parkland coaches spilled onto the field. They pleaded for a false-start penalty, claiming there was movement by a St. Joseph's Prep offensive lineman before Swift gained his first down in the fourth quarter.
Perhaps blinded by the coaches' pleas, Parkland was unguarded for the gut-punching play Prep was set to deliver.
Jack Clements hurried the next play and aired a pass to a wide-open Swift. The sophomore hauled it in for a 50-yard touchdown, giving Prep a 34-30 win Saturday in a PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinal at Banko Field. The Hawks will meet Pennsbury in a semifinal at 1 p.m. Saturday at Northeast.
"They weren't expecting it, and we had the perfect play call," Clements said. "We're a pretty high-tempo offense, so I'm not really waiting for them to get down. They didn't really look like they were set up."
Prep scored on its first possession and led until midway through the fourth quarter. The Hawks trailed for just less than four minutes.
After allowing a go-ahead score, Prep's defense limited Parkland to 25 yards and two first downs. The Hawks seemed to play their best defense once the 17-point lead slipped away. They sacked Parkland's quarterback three straight times to set up the possession that led to Swift's game-winning TD.
"We don't give up at all," Swift said. "We put so much work in every week, and it just shows right there."
Clements threw for 254 yards and accounted for all five of Prep's touchdowns. The 5-foot-9, 200-pound Swift gained 173 total yards. Olamide Zaccheaus caught three passes for 125 yards. The senior kept Prep rolling in the third quarter with a 36-yard, catch-and-run score.
Swift and Zaccheaus teamed to keep Prep's pass defense afloat without John Reid, who missed the game with a leg injury. The Penn State-bound senior was injured in last week's District 12 final.
Clements, a senior, said the winning touchdown was just "pass and catch." That's how open Swift was after sprinting away from his lone defender. Clements said he knows no defensive back fast enough to keep up with Swift.
Swift said he had to adjust quickly to make sure he caught the pass. It was a quick decision, just like Clements' call to hurry the play. And the fast-thinking Hawks are moving on.
St. Joseph's Prep 6 14 7 7 - 34
Parkland 0 17 7 6 - 30
SJP: Jack Clements 4 run (kick failed)
P: FG 28 Jake Bissell
SJP: Justin Montague 23 pass from Clements (Jon Daniel Runyan kick)
SJP: Olamide Zaccheaus 64 pass from Clements (Runyan kick)
P: Anthony Pagliaro 18 pass from Devante Cross (Bissell kick)
P: Jarey Elder 6 pass from Cross (Bissell kick)
SJP: Zaccheaus 36 pass from Clements (Runyan kick)
P: Gabe Clark 62 pass from Cross (Bissell kick)
P: Kenny Yeboah 8 pass from Cross (kick failed)
SJP: D'Andre Swift 50 pass from Clements (Runyan kick)