Northampton Press

Monday, September 16, 2019

Football squad looks to bounce back and get a win over Dieruff

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

Facing Parkland in their opener, Northampton couldn’t have asked for a better situation despite being shutout, 41-0.

“This was the best first game we could have,” stated Kids’ head coach Kyle Haas earlier this week. “We knew right away what our strengths and weaknesses were.

“But it became more evident as the game went on that they (Parkland) were more physical than us. We put a lot of time in the weight room from January until now, but across the board we were not as strong as Parkland.”

Haas admittedly was optimistic that his team was within reach of Parkland at halftime, trailing 13-0.

“If we could keep it that close going into the fourth quarter, we would have a chance,” said Haas. “But our locker room was like a morgue and it seemed like it was 35-0. I tried to fire them up and tell them that they were that close to Parkland. They just didn’t know how to respond.”

“Parkland eventually just wore us down.”

Still, the Kids have some corrections to make.

“We didn’t tackle well at all,” said Haas. “We didn’t tackle the way we do at practice. We need to get more confident and make plays. We need to go out and execute for four quarters.”

Haas cited the play of running back Josh Gaycheck, nose guard Hunter “Bubba” Werkheiser, and linebacker Nick Caizzo.

“Josh (Gaycheck) ran the ball well,” said Haas. “We’ll look at getting him (Gaycheck) some more carries. Bubba (Werkheiser) did a good job and Nick Caiazzo had a good game for us.”

Haas also likes what he saw from first-year starter quarterback Cam Eaton, who completed 5-of-14 attempts for 33 yards and had a pair of interceptions.

“He (Eaton) handled it as well as you could expect,” said Haas. “We didn’t want to put a game on his shoulders early in the season. I thought he hung in there and he’ll get better.”

The Kids will look to get back on track Friday night when they host Dieruff and begin East Penn Conference (EPC) North play. The Huskies were thumped, 53-6, by Bethlehem Catholic last week.

Haas is concerned about Dieruff quarterback Esau Collazo, who completed 8-of-15 passed for 45 yards and he also ran for 47 yards.

“Their quarterback made a ton of plays after they were broken,” said Haas. “He’s fast, and we’ll have to figure out a way to contain him. He makes a lot of plays with his legs.

“We’ll have to downsize. Dieruff is a lot more spread and they get the ball out in space. For us, it will be about us controlling the ball, running the ball, and containing their quarterback.

“If we don’t, we’ll be in for a dogfight.”

Haas sees his team seeking a comfort zone.

“We’re still trying to find our identity,” he said. “We have some playmakers, but we have a new offense and defense in place. It will be an evolution. We know we have to do some different things to put some points on the board.”