K-Kids recover from an early Allen TD
Northampton’s 55-13 win over Allen under the lights at Al Erdosy stadium on Friday moved the K-Kids to within one game of claiming the EPC North Division title. It would be the first league title for Northampton football since winning the Mountain Valley Conference in 1997.
Allen threatened to ruin the celebratory Homecoming atmosphere by returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. However by the time the first quarter was over, Northampton held a 34-7 lead and the rout was on.
While football is the ultimate team game, junior QB Joe Kerbacher had a standout first half.
A 45-yard Kerbacher to Tyrese Brandon pass tied the game at 7-7.
On Northampton’s next position, Kerbacher showed off his wheels by snaking through the Canary defense for a 36-yard TD run.
Next drive, a 30-yard fade to Jared Russell for six.
On the drive following one ending in a Michael Cruz touchdown run, Kerbacher hit Russell for a 5-yard score that broke the Northampton record for touchdown passes in a season with 18.
Later in the first half, Brandon turned a short pass into a 91-yard score and one drive later Russell scored his third TD of the game by taking another short pass 62 yards to the house.
First half totals: 8 of 12, 263 yards 5 TDs passing, a 36-yard TD run, and a Northampton record.
After the game Kerbacher deflected the praise of his performance.
“It wouldn’t have happened without the guys up front blocking, the receivers making big plays, and the coaches putting us in position to succeed,” he said.
The number 263 was the magic number for the game as that was also Brandon’s total yards from scrimmage, 105 on the ground and 158 receiving. Russell totaled 105 yards on his 4 receptions. Josh Gaycheck picked up 51 yards rushing on 7 carries.
The defense also did its part. Out of 35 plays that Allen ran for the game, 19 of them resulted in either no gain, a loss of yardage, or a turnover.
The final hurdle for Northampton to clear to claim the EPC North title is Pocono Mountain East. Head coach Kyle Haas provided his preliminary analysis of the Cardinals.
“Pocono Mountain East runs the single wing or the short punt,” he said. “It’s an offense that can give you problems if you don’t prepare for it. If we can keep them from chewing the clock up, get them behind, it’s hard for them to catch up because they’re so run-oriented.”
PM East is 4-4 overall and 4-2 in the North Division. They lack a signature win on their resume with their wins coming against Allen, Dieruff, East Stroudsburg North and Pleasant Valley. They did hang with East Stroudsburg South for a 33-28 loss, but there is no question that any result other than a lopsided Kids’ win would be a surprise.