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.
Northampton’s football season can be divided into two seasons.
First, there is the 5-1 start in which the Konkrete Kids posted three consecutive shutouts and averaged 46 points a game after their opening-game loss to Parkland.
Then there are the final five games that saw the Kids drop their final two games of the season to Whitehall and Easton, the latter in their first District 11 playoff appearance since 2003.
Former Whitehall head football coach Brian Gilbert read the movements of the Giants’ Saquon Barkley who nearly rushed for 4,000 career yards as a Zephyr.
Gilbert also had a good read on Barkley when the rookie ran for a career-high 142 yards and scored three overall touchdowns in his team’s 38-35 victory over Tampa Bay at Met Life Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Mike McClarin knows about rivalries.
While he spent part of his college football career at Navy, McClarin was involved in arguably football’s most notable rivalry against Army.
Now, the first-year head coach is experiencing the same kind of intensity closer to home.
McClarin will lead his Roughies squad into Alumni Field Thursday morning for the 96th annual meeting with rival Northampton.
Northampton (7-4) has won the last four contests and has an overall 58-33-4 advantage in the series.
After his junior year, Damon Yarbough nearly quit the football team.
He didn’t, and proved how an age-old adage can still work.
“I felt like I wasn’t going to get a whole lot of playing time,” said Yarbough. “I didn’t play varsity as a junior. But I figured that I might as well see it through.
“Once I saw how things were and the feeling around the team in the summer, I knew that I made the right choice.”
His coaches certainly would agree.
Nate Bendekovits always will remember his role in his team’s 50-0 win over East Stroudsburg South this year.
The Northampton senior captain had a memorable game as well as one of his many big nights.
Bendekovits was named the defensive player of the game for his play along the line and also had a productive night on the other side in the Konkrete Kids’ 50-0 convincing shutout.
Northampton head coach Kyle Haas knew driving sheets of constant rain weren’t the ideal situation for his team at Easton in an opening-round District 11 Class 6A playoff game last Friday night.
The Konkrete Kids’ high-powered offense couldn’t get in gear, as they fell to Easton, 39-19, in their first appearance in a district playoff game since 2003.
Northampton (7-4) ended it most successful season since 2008 when they finished 10-3. It was a season filled with a series of new marks set into the record books.
Joe Kerbacher was ready and knew his time would eventually come.
It arrived a little sooner than expected.
For the past three games, the sophomore quarterback has looked like a seasoned senior at the controls of the Konkrete Kids’ offense.
Kerbacher threw for 180 yard and two touchdowns and he also ran for 67 yards in the Kids’ 36-34 loss to Whitehall last Friday.
He took over late in the Stroudsburg game Oct. 5 for starter Cam Eaton, and followed with two strong outings in wins over Allen and Pocono Mountain East.
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.
During his first two years in the Northampton varsity football program, Kyle Wescoe struggled to make a big impact on the team.
He could literally reflect his situation.
“When I was a sophomore, I was a small kid,” Wescoe recalled. “I was a late bloomer. I really didn’t have the size nor the weight. I was falling behind.