Tigers finally beat So. Lehigh
Northwestern came into Friday night’s match up with Southern Lehigh one game behind the Spartans and knowing that a win would provide a nice boost for the District 11 Class AA power ranking.
The Tigers left Southern Lehigh with the win that they needed, taking a 24-21 decision. For the Northwestern players, it was the first time during their high school careers that they came away with a win against Southern Lehigh.
Momentum shifted from sideline-to-sideline throughout the night as the teams pulled off one big play after another against each other.
Quarterback Dylan Snyder led the game-winning drive for Northwestern.
Starting on their own 28-yard line with just 2:05 to play, the Tigers’ drive opened with three incomplete passes, bringing up a fourth and 10. Snyder hit Trevor Cunningham for a first down to keep the drive going.
The play of the night for Northwestern when Cunningham adjusted his route and came back, initially to prevent an interception, and wound up pulling in the pass for a 38-yard gain to the Southern Lehigh 21-yard line with under two minutes to play. Defender Nathan Derby actually got a hand on the ball, but Cunningham was able to pull in the pass. Three plays later, Harry Hall ran six yards for the go-ahead touchdown and Brandon Miller added the extra point to put the Tigers up 24-21.
“I was just thinking about making a play so he couldn’t intercept it,” said Cunningham. “I got a little lucky when he tipped it and it fell right into my hands.”
On the ground, it was another big night for Harry Hall, who rushed for 151 yards, putting him over the 1,000-yard mark for the third straight season. Hall also rushed for three touchdowns, giving him 52 career TDs and making him Northwestern’s all-time touchdown king, breaking the previous mark of 51 set by Brett Snyder.
Dylan Snyder finished the game with a career-high 193 yards passing and completed 11 of 25 pass attempts in the game. Cunningham, who caught six passes for 127 yards, was his favorite target.
“I’m extremely proud of Dylan [Snyder] for how far he’s come,” said Cunningham. “He hasn’t played quarterback for his entire varsity career, and for him to step in and come through like this has been big.”
In addition to his big night receiving, Cunningham also had two interceptions and a fumble recovery in the game and Teagen Golden added a third against Southern Lehigh quarterback Blake Levengood. Snyder was intercepted twice, once in the end zone by Levengood.
Brandon Miller attempted a 45-yard field goal with just under 4:00 to play in the second quarter and missed, but he booted a 21-yarder with just under 4:00 to play in the game that put the Tigers up 17-14 at the time. He also punted four times, averaging just under 44 yards per kick.
The win has Northwestern and Southern Lehigh both at 5-2 on the season with Notre Dame and Saucon Valley both still undefeated at 7-0.
Cunningham became the first player in school history to have two 100-yard receiving games in a season, and he did it in back to back weeks.
This was Northwestern’s first win over the Spartans since 2010.
Through the first seven games of the 2015 season, Northwestern has not given up a point in the third quarter.