Stopping Csicsek will be top priority
The key to stopping Saucon Valley this week will surely be containing Panther running back Ian Csicsek, who averages over 200 yards per game and gashed Lehighton for over 200 last week in a district playoff win.
Northwestern head coach Josh Snyder put in what he termed the “Panther defense” for the first game between the two teams. He simply moved an extra player into the box looking to contain Saucon Valley running back Ian Csicsek and it worked as well as could be expected, with Csicsek gaining 142 yards in the game, but considering that he came into that game with over 1,500 yards rushing in just six games.
Snyder was willing to give him the 142 yards.
“He’s a special running back and we have to find ways to keep him from getting big runs against us,” Snyder said. “Last time he ripped off one big run for a touchdown, but overall, we did pretty well against him. We can’t let them get those big plays and we can’t let ourselves get down early. We’ve done well in getting out to early leads and that’s what we have to do this time around.”
Csicsek has pumped his rushing total up to just under the 2,500-yard mark on the season and has carried the ball nearly 300 times, while the Panthers have thrown the ball just under 10 times a game with freshman quarterback Dante Mahaffey.
That makes setting up a defensive scheme much easier for the Northwestern coaches, provided they can again limit the damage done by Csicsek.