Two weeks ago, an undefeated Saucon Valley team became the toughest opponent to date for Northwestern. This week, Southern Lehigh trumps that and becomes the biggest challenge that the Tigers have had to battle. In fact, the Spartans offense has gained more yards than Northwestern this season and has scored just six points less than the Tigers.
"They've got a very dynamic offense and they're difficult to scheme against," said Tiger head coach Josh Snyder. "We may have played teams that can do one particular thing better, but they've got the whole package."
Even though it wasn't their best performance of the season, Northwestern still had plenty in the tank to beat Salisbury 47-15 Friday night. The key was two senior stars who had record-setting nights for Northwestern on offense.
Quarterback Frank Dangello threw a school record four touchdown passes, all of them going to fellow senior Cam Richardson, giving Dangello 40 career touchdown passes.
Richardson's four touchdown receptions were the most ever by a Northwestern receiver. Both Dangello and Richardson also ran for a touchdown to cap the scoring for the Tigers.
And then, there was one.
The battle of the unbeatens in the Colonial League saw the Northwestern Tigers pick up a convincing 39-14 win over Saucon Valley, leaving the Tigers at 5-0, while the Panthers slipped to 4-1 on the year.
Tigers junior Harry Hall ran for 240 yards and two touchdowns to help the offense and Cam Richardson tallied a rushing touchdown, a receiving touchdown and a passing touchdown in the win.
The Northwestern football team's mantra is to play each game as the most important game of the season. The Tigers don't allow themselves to look ahead to the next week until the play clock hits zero. Because of that, they may not have realized that they were playing an upstart Salisbury team in week six, but they know it now.
At this time last year, the Northwestern Tigers were 2-2 with a defense that had allowed 48 points to its opponents. This season, a 41-3 win over Wilson last Friday has them at 4-0 and their defense has allowed just 15 points, pointing to a big reason for the improved record.
Coming into Friday night's game at Northwestern, the Wilson Warriors will be looking to snap a 13 game losing skid. The 2013 season was the first winless season for Wilson and they hope that it marked rock bottom of their descent from their undefeated championship season of 2009, which capped a run of four Colonial League titles in four seasons.
Matt Senneca took over as the coach of the Warriors during the offseason and changed both the offensive and defensive schemes, but so far, the results have been the same, with Wilson off to an 0-3 start.
Northwestern coach Josh Snyder stresses special teams play as much as any coach and that focus played a big role in the Tigers third win of the season, a 45-6 rain-soaked contest against Pen Argyl. Special teams came up with a blocked punt that led to a touchdown and a long field goal, helping the Tigers to a 3-0 start and sending the Green Knights to their third straight loss.
Northwestern football upped its record to 2-0 with a convincing 41-0 win over the Bangor Slaters in week two of Colonial League football.
The storyline remained much the same as in week one, a big night from junior running back Harry Hall and a defense that refuses to allow much of anything to the opposing offense.
Hall took the opening handoff and ran 77 yards for a quick touchdown and Brandon Miller added the extra point as the Tigers opened with a 7-0 advantage.
It's only two games, but the script is playing out perfectly for the Northwestern Tigers. With convincing wins over Notre Dame (Green Pond) and Bangor and a first-team defensive unit that hasn't allowed a point in either game, the Tigers are 2-0 and appear to be everything they were supposed to be coming into the season.
Of course, when you're outscoring your opponents 73-6, it's relatively easy to win games.
After an impressive 32-6 win over Notre Dame in the first week of the high school football season, Northwestern returns this week for its first road game of the season, a trek to Bangor High School for a game against the Slaters. Bangor downed Catasauqua 31-18 in its opener last week.