Mistakes cost NHS as Catty looms
Northampton senior wide receiver/cornerback Jaelen Richardson realized that his team’s usual script had some untimely additions that could have an unusual result against Parkland in the District 11 Class 6A semifinal.
Northampton entered the game with four turnovers all season, but two against Parkland along with some ball karma all resulted in a 31-13 defeat.
It was the Konkrete Kids (11-1) first loss of the season after an undefeated regular season and an opening-round playoff victory over Stroudsburg the previous week.
The Kids had an undefeated regular season last year, and their season also ended in the district semifinals with a loss to eventual champion Freedom.
“I personally don’t think there wasn’t any difference besides big mistakes that killed us,” said Richardson. “It hasn’t happened to us all season.
“We let the game slip away from us in the second half. We are definitely disappointed that we won’t be able to play in the championship game.”
It was the first time the Kids had been outgained on the ground in a game this season, as Parkland had a 147-139 advantage. Junior running back Caden Henritzy again paced them with a team-high 115 yards.
Parkland (8-4), which will meet Freedom for the title this weekend, entered the game winning five of its last six games.
Henritzy also recognized the Kids’ inability to seize their opportunities.
“This is one of the toughest losses we experienced because we had many opportunities to win,” he said. “This experience will hopefully bring us closer as a team.
“When we play the tougher teams, we need to play as one unit.”
Head coach John Toman didn’t offer any excuses, and kept everything in perspective.
“I told the boys that one game should not define them,” he said. “We made too many self-inflicted wounds to win a district semifinal. I felt we had our opportunities to seize control of the game early in the third quarter, but we failed to do it.
“These seniors are 23-2 since I became head coach with another chance to get a win. The staff couldn’t be any prouder of the effort the boys gave all year long.”
That chance will come at Catasauqua (7-5) on Thanksgiving morning.
Richardson, who needs one interception to tie the school’s mark, believes his team can get back on the track.
“This won’t affect our approach,” he said. “We will prepare for Catty like we would for any other game.”
Henritzy also is looking forward to Thanksgiving morning.
“The game will give us the opportunity to play as a team one more time and finish on the positive side,” he said. “We are all excited to continue this tradition and play on Thanksgiving as a team one more time.”