NHS back in district playoffs
The wait is over. It might have seemed longer with the opening-night, 41-0 loss to Parkland.
Sixth-seeded Northampton will enter Easton’s Cottingham Stadium Friday night to make its first appearance in the PIAA District 11 playoffs since 2003.
The Konkrete Kids have come a long way since their opening-night loss to Parkland and have managed to create new entries in the record books along the way, as they finished with an overall 7-3 mark.
They suffered a tightly contested, 36-34 loss to Whitehall in their annual “Cement Bowl” battle last Friday night.
The Kids saw momentum from an early 21-7 fizzle away when Whitehall (2-8) registered a safety.
“That hurt us,” noted Kids’ head coach Kyle Haas. “We lost momentum. When we came out in the second half, we didn’t move the ball well.
“It was a tough loss. At the end of the game, you could see it in the kids’ faces. Whitehall has a lot of weapons. They did exactly what Stroudsburg did to us.”
Haas is confident his team will rebound. The Kids have worked hard to change the culture.
“It’s a learning experience for us,” he said. “Hopefully, this will propel us. Our younger kids can learn from this.
“We have come a long way this year, and these kids certainly don’t want to turn back. Ever since Pocono Mountain east, we have treated every game like a playoff game. We have worked to change the habit of losing and they need to keep doing that.”
Easton, the three-seed, (7-3) is coming off a controversial, late-second, 36-34 win over Nazareth that was proceeded with a 41-14 whipping of Parkland.
The Red Rovers are led by quarterback Nate Nimeh, who has thrown for nearly 1,500 yards with 18 touchdowns. His top target is Michael Dunlap, who has 29 catches for 616 yards with eight touchdowns.
Harold Reynolds is their leading rusher with 787 yards and 10 touchdowns.
“I have watched Easton on TV a few times and they have weapons with their quarterback and running back,” said Haas. “Their quarterback can make plays with his arm and legs.
“They are a typical Easton defense that will be physical and hit you.”
Sophomore Joe Kerbacher again will be at the controls for the Kids. Through three starts and a relief appearance, Kerbacher has completed 24 of 50 passes for 357 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions.
“Joe (Kerbacher) really has been throwing the ball well for us,” said Haas. “He is confident and has really gotten into a good rhythm.”
Junior Tyrese Brandon lead the Kids in rushing with 882 yards for a 9.4 average per carry. Senior Aiden Jones had 457 yards for an average of 7.4 with eight touchdowns. Six backs have more than 200 yards to help account for their team total of 2,659 yards.
Brandon also leads the Kids in receptions with 25 with four touchdowns ahead of senior Kyle Wescoe (13-233) and junior Jared Russell (12-121). Wescoe also is having a good year returning punts, bringing back 16 punts for an 11.9 average.
Sophomore Kicker Aiden Reinhardt has 44 extra points, breaking the mark set by Steve Trout (43) in 1998.
The Kids’ offensive unit has averaged 38.8 points per game, while allowing a stingy 13.8 per contest.