Northampton Press

Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Press photo by Linda RothrockJoe Kerbacher has already set some NHS passing records. Press photo by Linda RothrockJoe Kerbacher has already set some NHS passing records.

Kids look to take EPC North title

Friday, October 18, 2019 by Jeff Moeller Special to the Press in Sports

Joe Kerbacher certainly will be humbled by the moment.

The Northampton junior quarterback are his teammates are anxiously anticipating the clinching of the East Penn Conference (EPC) North title with a win over Pocono Mountain East Friday night at Al Erdosy Stadium.

Northampton (7-1, 6-0) has won seven-straight conference games since they lost opening night to Parkland, an EPC South team. Pocono Mountain East (4-4) posted a 27-0 shutout last week, and the Cardinals have won two-straight games.

The Konkrete Kids will be working for their first outright title since they won the Lehigh Valley League in 1974. They shared a piece of the Mountain Valley Conference crown in 1979.

“It is a blessing to be able to play for a title because we haven’t won one since we have been alive,” said Kerbacher. “Our coaches have put us in a great spot to win, and we have been playing pretty well.

“But there always is room for improvement.”

Kerbacher has passed his way in the Kids’ record book this season.

With his 20 touchdowns, he surpassed Craig Muschko’s mark of 18 set in 2003 and also tied Eric Spadt for most in a career (27). He also tied Spadt for most touchdown passes in a game when he recently threw five against Allen. His 91-yard touchdown pass to Tyrese Brandon against Allen also was the longest in school history.

“We just have to keep working hard this week and for the rest of the year,” he said. “I feel like we have a chance to do great things as a team as long as we keep improving.”

Kerbacher, Brandon, and wide receiver Jared Russell have been an effective offensive triumvirate all season.

Brandon is closing in on the school’s career rushing mark of 2,537 held by Phil Hard (2016-19). He has 2,438 yards going into Friday’s game and is 99 yards short of the mark. He also is tied with Tommy Rohn (1996-99) for the most career receiving touchdowns, and Brandon recently surpassed the 1,000-yard career receiving mark as he became the third player to achieve the mark.

However, he can temporarily put those aside for a title.

“This feels amazing,” said Brandon. “We have worked so hard for this. This is huge for the school and community. They haven’t seen anything like this in a while. We want to give back to this strong community who has supported us.”

Russell is on the heels of Brandon and Rohn for most touchdown receptions in a career, as he has 12. He reached the 50-reception career mark and tied the school mark for most touchdown receptions in a game (3).

He, too, will cherish the moment.

“It feels good,” he said. “This opportunity means so much to the team. The coaches have been pushing us to hard and give us a game plan every week to go out Friday night and succeed.

“We look forward to winning the title.”