NHS blanks PME 35-0
Northampton’s impressive 35-0 shutout of Pocono Mountain East may not have been a signature victory, but it certainly was close to a complete game victory.
The Konkrete Kids totally derailed the high-flying Cardinals, who scored 72 points the previous week and set a new state record for most points in a quarter with 52 in the opening stanza.
“I think it was a great effort by our defense that brought a lot of energy,’ said Kids’ head coach Kyle Haas. “We knew they had a very potent offense and it would be tough.”
Haas credited the scheme devised by defensive coordinator Shawn Daignault to ground the Cardinals.
“He (Daignault) did a great job and had a great plan,” added Haas. “They run the RPO (run-pass option) on a fast track. Our kids really executed and they stepped up when they had to. We managed to keep them out of the end zone and take care of business.”
With the win, the Kids (7-2) qualified for a district berth for the first time since 2003. They currently are the fifth seed in the Class 6A bracket.
Offensively, Haas also gave a nod to coordinator Mike Feifel, who kept the Kids’ ground game in motion.
“Mike Feifel knew our best defense was to keep them off the field and play ball control,” said Haas. “We wanted to clean up on first downs and limit their offensive possessions. We are playing with a lot of confidence.
“You can see that we have progressing getting better each week.”
The Kids rushed for 320 yards with Josh Gaycheck leading the way with 105 yards, as he was among six players in double figures. Aidan Jones scored a pair of touchdowns, his longest a 35-yard run. Gaycheck broke free for an 83-yard dash.
For the season, Jones has 442 yards with eight touchdowns behind leader Tyrese Brandon with 695 yards and 12 scores.
Joe Kerbacher made his second start of the season and he completed three of five passes for 69 yards. Kerbacher, a sophomore, also ran for 46 yards.
Haas appreciated his quarterback’s temperament.
“Joe (Kerbacher) is always steady,” said Haas. “He doesn’t get rattled and he can get us out of jams with his legs.
“It is a big step up from JV to varsity and I don’t see that affecting him. He is doing what he needs to do for us. No matter who the quarterback is, we just need him to manage the game for us with our offense.”
Haas cited the play of linemen Nate Bendekovits and Matt Wiest against Pocono Mountain east as well as Jones, Gaycheck, Kyle Wescoe, and Spencer Cole.
“We have good athletes on both sides of the ball,” said Haas. “Our kids are playing through injuries, and we have fought through adversity.”
The Kids will look to close out the regular season at home Friday night against rival Whitehall. The Zephyrs will enter the game with an overall 1-8 mark, and they will present a similar offensive look.
“They also run the RPO and have athleticism,” said Haas about Whitehall. “They are well coached and they will make plays because it is a rivalry. I think they will run a 3-4 (defense) against us.”
Haas believes the Kids’ run is far from over. Among other milestones they have reached, they have posted the most shutouts (four) since the 2008 season – their last winning season – when they had five.
“We’re playing well on both sides of the ball and our special teams have been outstanding,” he said. “We’re able to prepare for big games.
“We have seen a lot of growth, and we have a lot more growing yet to do.”