There was plenty of blame to go around when Northwestern lost to Palisades a couple weeks ago. Sophomore Anthony Colucci had a particularly tough game, getting flagged for two personal foul calls that hurt the Tigers in the game and got Colucci in coach Josh Snyder’s doghouse heading into the game with Wilson.
With Colucci watching from the sidelines for the first quarter, he was well aware that he had to contribute when he got his chance and he came up big for Northwestern in a 37-7 win over Wilson last Friday night.
For Northwestern coach Josh Snyder, these days are somewhat like a Dickens novel. They are the best of times and they are the worst of times.
Snyder and his wife Lacey recently welcomed their third child, a little girl to go along with two boys. Snyder admits to running more on adrenaline than on sleep these days, but says it’s all worth it and knows these are great times.
Then, there’s his football team.
Freshman quarterback Deven Bollinger threw for a game record 291 yards and Trevor Cunningham caught 145 yards of those passes, good enough for second all-time in a Northwestern game. But both players would have liked just a few more inches added on to their totals. Bollinger’s pass with just 4.8-seconds left in the game fell just inches shy of a first down, resulting in a 34-27 loss to Palisades on Friday.
Northwestern has two wins in two weeks of high school football, but neither was easy. In week one, a 13-12 win over Palmerton, the winning touchdown came with about three minutes left in the game and was followed by a big defensive play that stopped the Bombers from getting a last-minute, go-ahead touchdown.
Things went a little better last week against Salisbury in a 19-5 win, but penalties and mistakes ruled the night for the Tigers, who trailed at halftime before scoring three times in the second half.
Through the first two weeks, some things stand out for the Tigers.
Northwestern’s win over Salisbury wasn’t exactly ugly, but the Tigers certainly made their share of mistakes, giving coach Josh Snyder and his staff a lot of work to do as they prepare for Palisades in week three.
Salisbury took a quick lead thanks to a Northwestern miscue and led 5-0 at the half, but the Tigers did all of the scoring in the second half to leave Salisbury High School with a 19-5 win.
In just looking at the numbers, one wouldn’t know that the Northwestern football team had to pull out a touchdown late in the game to pick up a 13-12 win over Palmerton in week one of the high school football season.
Trevor Cunningham set the new single game receiving yardage record, catching 184 yards worth of catches from freshman quarterback Deven Bollinger. The old record, held by Payton Bachman (2010) and Cam Richardson (2013), was 135 yards.
Northwestern Lehigh coach Josh Snyder came from a football family, following older brother Brett in his high school career. Coach Snyder is thankful that other families in the district have produced multiple quality football players that he now gets to rely on.
A case in point is this year’s Tiger varsity team.
When Josh Snyder took over as the head coach at Northwestern in 2012, he looked around and decided the best approach was to go with young players.
Back then, Snyder knew the team would take some lumps for a while, but also believed that he would be able to build those young players into not just a strong team, but also a program that would be competitive for years to come.
After losing to South Parkland for the third straight time last Friday, the Northern Valley Chargers weren’t a very happy bunch. The loss was worse than each of the first two, because it came in the playoffs and left the team one loss away from being eliminated and having their season end.
That 7-6 loss ultimately served as a driving factor for the Chargers to bounce back and pull off a bit of a surprise in the Lehigh Valley Legion, when they beat South Parkland not once, but twice to finish as LVL champions and earn a spot in the Regionals.
Theodore Roosevelt noted that “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing, unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.”
That about sums up how the Northern Valley Chargers became champions of the Lehigh Valley Legion League after opening the season with a 2-6 record, reaching the playoffs with a 9-9 record and then winning the postseason tournament as the league’s fifth seed.
After the second win of the season, a 9-8 triumph over North Parkland, coach Brad Rauch sensed that his team was getting close to turning things around.