NHS has winning season
For the most part, Northampton’s football team achieved their first phase in its program.
The Konkrete Kids finished with an overall 8-4 record after they downed rival host Catasauqua, 49-14, Thanksgiving morning in the 96th annual skirmish.
It was an eventful season for the Kids, as they completed their first winning season in 10 years and also got back to the postseason for the first time since 2003. Those were among a series of accomplishments that helped Northampton re-establish its program this season.
Regardless of the outcome of the Catty game, first-year head coach Kyle Haas knew his team has made reached a significant stage.
“I thought we got a lot of mileage out of these kids,” said Haas. “Beating Catty and getting eight wins is great for our program.
“I told the kids before the game that they now have history and that is important. We can now start to build our program.”
Even though it was a mismatch on paper, Haas figured his team would be in for a tussle against Catty.
The Kids once again relied on their ground game, accumulating 322 yards rushing. Tyrese Brandon had a game-high 110 yards and a pair of scores. Josh Gaycheck added 60 yards with a score, and Aiden Jones chipped in with 38 yards. Quarterback Joe Kerbacher scored a pair of rushing touchdowns and completed four of seven attempts for 50 yards.
Northampton put the mercy rule into effect with a 21-point third quarter.
“Their kids played very well and they are extremely well coached,” said Haas about the Roughies. “They played with a lot of emotion at the start. We should have used different schools as the field was more like playing on ice.
“At the beginning of the third quarter, we were able to take control.”
Haas, whose club will again play in the East Penn Conference (EPC) North next season, sees his team in an advantageous situation. After a 41-0 shutout from Parkland, the Kids caught fire with a five-game winning streak before they lost to Stroudsburg in what was a EPC North title game.
From there, they posted impressive wins over William Allen and Pocono Mountain East before they dropped a decision to Whitehall, their lone EPC South opponent.
In a District 11 Class 6A playoff, the Kids ran into a hot Easton team, and suffered a 39-19 defeat. Before Catasauqua, the Kids had dropped three of their previous five games.
“I don’t think we slipped as much as we didn’t take advantage of situations in the Whitehall game,” said Haas. “We aren’t on Easton’s level yet. Beating Pocono Mountain East was a good win considering their offense is pretty scary.
“We should be in that division with the caliber of football we are playing. Stroudsburg has been in the division since the start and they have had a lot of success. I think this is best for our kids, and we were right there with the good programs.”
Haas praised his outgoing senior class, who immediately bought into the program.
“They were willing to do whatever it took, and the rest of the kids followed,” said Haas of his seniors. “They really led the way, and they all really wanted to come back for another year. Change is difficult for people, but we had a good transition.”
Haas doesn’t want to waste any time moving to the next phase of the program. He plans to begin the offseason weight training program in a few weeks.
He understands that their success is just a cornerstone of a foundation.
“It is important not to wait too long for our younger kids to begin working in the offseason,” he stressed. “We don’t want a big layover.
“I think we had a good run, and we got it going in the right direction. This will be our first real offseason. It will take some time.”