After establishing its running game as a potent weapon through the early going, Northwestern has seen teams focus on stopping the run. That approach would work if the Tigers were a one-dimensional team, but junior quarterback Deven Bollinger has shown that he can get the ball to his receivers. He threw for 251 yards in a 35-7 win over Northern Lehigh last Friday night.
The final week of the high school football regular season is here and different teams have different recollections on just how fast the season has gone. Catasauqua’s football season has been a rough ride in 2018. The team has just one win, which came against 1-8 Wilson, and hasn’t been competitive in most of their games. They beat the Warriors by just three points and all of their losses have been by 21 or more points.
Meanwhile, the Northwestern Tigers are 8-1 and looking to play in districts for the first time since 2015.
From the start of the Colonial League championship game, Northwestern completely dominated play. The problem was that while the Tigers were controlling the ball and getting good looks at the net, they were unable to get the ball into the back of the net.
Within the first nine minutes of the game, they had a free kick from 25-yards out deflected by goalie Ethan Buck and another free kick clank off the crossbar and carry over the net and out of bounds. In the end though, the Tigers prevailed in a 3-1 win to take their fourth straight Colonial League championship.
In any sport, it’s normal to focus on what is happening immediately where the ball is. In soccer, it’s easy to focus on who scores the goal and forget just how that goal was set up by other members of the team. Northwestern’s dominance in the Colonial League is predicated on just those types of things.
In their 3-1 league championship win over Moravian Academy, the Tigers did all of the little things right.
During the regular season, Palisades handed Northwestern one of it two losses on the season in a 2-0 game. For a while, it looked like that same scenario might play out in the Colonial League semifinal game between the two teams, but Northwestern came raging back, only to fall to Palisades 3-2 on penalty kicks Tuesday at Salisbury High School.
Palisades got its second goal of the night with 15:35 left in the first half when Kylie Schmidt challenged goalie Lauren Terrell and put a shot just out of Terrell’s reach to make it a 2-0 game.
It’s not the type of rumble like the Jets and the Sharks had in West Side Story, but it’s a rumble nonetheless.
It’s the Northwestern Tigers and the Northern Lehigh Bulldogs in Bo and Brett’s Mountain Road Rumble. The longtime rivalry has been transformed into a charity event that raises money and awareness for the Bo Tkach Under the Helmet Foundation and the Tackle ALS/Brett Snyder Medical Fund.
Against Northern Lehigh, the Southern Lehigh Spartans found the end zone on the first play of three of their first four drives of the game.
They weren’t that fast against Northwestern, but on just the second play of the game, senior quarterback Logan Edmond hit Dalton Musselman for a 73-yard touchdown pass and the Spartans offense was picking up where they left off a week earlier against the Bulldogs. In the end, Northwestern fell for just the second time this season, losing to Southern Lehigh 45-21.
Saucon Valley has been rolling through the Colonial League football schedule with some ease this season and are the only undefeated team in the league and one of just four unbeaten teams in District 11. Freedom, Emmaus and Tamaqua are the only other undefeated teams and Freedom goes to Emmaus this week for a showdown with the Hornets.
In the middle of a stretch of tough games, the last thing that Northwestern needed was to play some extra soccer. On Monday and Tuesday, the Tigers went to overtime to pick up a 3-2 win over Notre Dame (Green Pond) and a 4-3 win over Southern Lehigh. It doesn’t help that the team is dealing with a number of players not feeling very well and having to play through the illnesses.
For a team that prides itself on having one of the better ground games in the Colonial League, the Tigers looked like a different animal last week in their 49-0 win over Palmerton (1-5).