Northampton Press

Friday, September 20, 2019
Press photo by Don HerbTyrese Brandon, shown here vs. Parkland, got things going against Dieruff last week. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ Press photo by Don HerbTyrese Brandon, shown here vs. Parkland, got things going against Dieruff last week. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

Kids look to keep rolling at PV Friday

Thursday, September 5, 2019 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

At Pleasant Valley Friday night, Northampton’s football team will encounter its second stage of its five-game East Penn Conference (EPC) North Division tour, one that can perhaps help them lock up the EPC North title.

But based on the unpredictability of the teams through the first two weeks of the season, it is hard for the K-Kids to get a good read.

“It’s is hard to tell what’s ahead of us,” said Kids’ head coach Kyle Haas of his team who has a 1-1 record after their 49-6 victory over Dieruff last week. “We just have to keep working to get better.

“With our win over Dieruff, we took a step in the right direction. Our kids are working hard to get better in the things that they do.”

The Kids certainly did.

Junior quarterback Joe Kerbacher once again showed why he is one of the major threats in the EPC and Lehigh Valley.

Kerbacher not only lead the team in rushing against Dieruff with 102 yards with a touchdown, but he also had a stellar 15-for-24, 184-yard, two-touchdown performance passing.

“When Joe (Kerbacher) gets in a rhythm (passing), he is very tough to defend,” added Haas. “He got there midway through the second quarter, and he can easily get on a role.

“He has the green light to run, and if we need a couple of yards, we get him on the edge. He is so fast on the edge that he is down field quickly, and the defense is trying to catch up.

“He had a really good game, and he can be tough to stop.”

Haas also was pleased with the improving play of his offensive line.

“I think we got better,” said Haas of his line. “They have really taken their responsibilities seriously. Against Parkland, we weren’t that consistent. They went out there with a purpose and it showed.”

Senior running back Tyrese Brandon had 95 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns and he also caught five balls for 88 yards with two scores.

“He caught and ran the ball well,” said Haas about Brandon. “We wanted to feed him more and give him more touches than last week. The more we can move him around, the more difficult we are to defend.”

Defensively, Haas watched his team take a step further. He credited the play of junior inside linebacker Zion Raub – the defensive MVP of the game – along with outside linebackers Owen Baker and Kyle Perl.

Sophomores Austin Cavallo and Ethan Schweitzer excelled on the line.

“All of those guys did well,” said Haas. “They helped step up pour defense and it was a pleasant surprise. Now, we feel we have guys who can step in to give our older guys a breather. We wanted to have more depth.”

As for Pleasant Valley, the Bears are coming off a 41-14 loss to William Allen after they were blasted, 70-0, by Liberty.

“They have a new coaching staff in place, and I see them improving,” said Haas about his opponent. “They run the wishbone offense and you have to prepare for it. It can lull you to sleep. They don’t throw the ball a lot.”

Haas realizes though that it is still about his team reaching another level.

“Right now, we have weapons,” he said. “We’re not a one-dimensional team. We have to wait and see how things play out, and worry about what we can do.”

PREDICTION: A year ago, Northampton posted a 63-0 shutout over Pleasant Valley, the second of three consecutive shutouts. This year’s game has the potential to be a repeat. Kerbacher is emerging as a playmaker and playing with plenty of confidence.

Allen’s Gavoni Hall ran for 281 yards against Pleasant Valley last week … It looks like a huge mismatch on paper and the Kids should have an early ride home from Broadheadsville ... NORTHAMPTON 56-0.