Northwestern Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZFirst-year starting quarterback Dylan Snyder takes a snap during last week’s season-opening game against Notre Dame (Green Pond). PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZFirst-year starting quarterback Dylan Snyder takes a snap during last week’s season-opening game against Notre Dame (Green Pond).

Tigers look for first win against Bangor

Friday, September 11, 2015 by CHUCK HIXSONSpecial to the Press in Sports

With a tough loss to Notre Dame in the opening week of the season, the question is, how will the Northwestern Tigers respond against Bangor. Will they still be licking their wounds from the opener or will they come out with a renewed fire against the Slaters?

Odds are that the early season wake-up call is going to put Northwestern on a mission to leave that as the only loss of the season and the Tigers look to restart the season against Bangor.

The loss, which featured Northwestern turning the ball over four times, was a shocker for a program that grew into a district champion in 2014. The task now is to put that loss behind them and come out strong against a Bangor team that would love to add a statement win against a program like Northwestern.

“It was a pretty tough film session and we had two really good days of practice,” said Northwestern head coach Josh Snyder. “It’s sort of like a gut check time to get refocused and we’re looking for a bounce-back game and I think we’re going to come out with a lot of energy Friday.”

Northwestern came through the Notre Dame game pretty healthy, with just the usual bumps and bruises. Teagen Golden, who missed the opener because of an injury, was cleared to practice on Wednesday, but whether he’ll play and how much he’ll play against Bangor hasn’t been determined.

The Slaters finished 3-7 last season and have a new coach in Brian Miller, who becomes the third coach in the last four seasons at the school. While the Slaters have a strong senior core, the 2015 season figures to be another transition season in Bangor.

The Slaters struggled on both sides of the ball in a 27-0 loss against Catasauqua last week. Senior quarterback Cam Strohe went down with a shoulder injury early in the game and didn’t return. His status for this week is questionable, with no clear back-up to take his place. Both Landon LaBar and Mike Meixell saw time at the helm of the Slaters offense after the injury to Strohe.

“They have a new coaching staff, a new defense and a new offense,” said Snyder. “Defensively, they play a 30/50 front with a lot of movement and they blitz pretty much. They struggled at times moving the ball and they run sort of a spread offense.”

For Snyder though, winning the game is going to come down to much more than just breaking down film. The Tigers need to worry more about playing the type of game that they are capable of playing. If they do that, beating Bangor should take care of itself.

“I think more than Bangor, we’re just looking at us and where we can improve,” said Snyder. “We definitely didn’t play our best game week one, so we’re definitely more focused on us than anything, and doing all of the little things right, the fundamentals, playing with a lot of intensity, which I didn’t think we did at times on Friday night.”

Playing in front of the home team fans at The Jungle Friday night will also help, since Northwestern takes protecting its house very seriously. Another big night for Harry Hall and the progression of Dylan Snyder as the Northwestern quarterback should go a long way toward bringing the first win of the season for Northwestern.