High school foot­ball fan guide

Week 6 sees a big night for past, cur­rent Konkrete Kids.

The Morning Call - - FRONT PAGE - By Stephen Miller, Keith Groller Keith Groller can be reached at 610-8206740 or at [email protected]

At half­time of Fri­day night’s game against East Strouds­burg South at Al Er­dosy Sta­dium, Northamp­ton High’s 1955-56 back-to-back Le­high Val­ley League cham­pi­onship teams will be in­ducted into the school’s ath­letic Hall of Fame along with a key mem­ber of those un­beaten squads.

With a win over un­beaten South, the Konkrete Kids can go a long way in earn­ing their own ti­tle.

The key EPC North Cava­lier­sKonkrete Kids game is one of the fea­tured matchups as the 2019 high school foot­ball reg­u­lar sea­son en­ters the sec­ond half.

The teams are the last re­main­ing un­beat­ens in the di­vi­sion and the win­ner is set up for a ti­tle run.

Matt Wal­ters’ South team faces EPC South mem­ber Beth­le­hem Catholic in Week 7 and gets three teams with com­bined record of 1-14 — Dieruff, Pleas­ant Val­ley and East Strouds­burg North — in the last three weeks.

If the Cava­liers pre­vail over Northamp­ton they are likely to be the EPC North cham­pion.

If the Konkrete kids win, they have a tougher road to the crown with Strouds­burg, Allen and Po­cono Moun­tain East still to play be­fore a cross-di­vi­sion game with White­hall on Oct. 25.

These K-Kids would love to join Er­dosy’s 1955-56 teams as league champs.

The 1955 team went 9-0 and outscored op­po­nents 323-78 and was cap­tained by Charles Hoff­man, Carl Wun­der­ler, Robert Phillips and Ed Gassler.

The 1956 squad also went 9-0 and outscored foes 420-46. Hoff­man was again a team cap­tain along with Charles Shimer, Robert Reimer and Frank Marth.

Hoff­man, who was the quar­ter­back for both the 1955-56 teams, will also be in­ducted into the Hall of Fame. He also ex­celled in base­ball and bas­ket­ball be­fore grad­u­at­ing in 1957.

Lin­ger­ing mem­ory: Nazareth sur­ren­dered 24 fourth-quar­ter points when it played Park­land last sea­son, lead­ing to a 45-35 loss. The Blue Ea­gles had a punt blocked and lost 18 yards on a fake-punt at­tempt in the fourth quar­ter.

Can Nazareth play to the fin­ish in Fri­day’s trip to Park­land?

Mile­stone watch: Free­dom coach Ja­son Roeder is near­ing 100 ca­reer wins, ac­cord­ing to Morn­ing Call records. He earned vic­tory No. 98 in Fri­day’s game at White­hall. The Pa­tri­ots host Po­cono Moun­tain West on Fri­day be­fore head­ing to Easton next week.

Best chance for an air show: Easton’s Cole Tran­sue and Cen­tral Catholic’s Matt Rauscher rank 3-4 among the EPC South’s pass­ing lead­ers. Nei­ther team is afraid to push the ball down­field.

Busiest place: Allentown’s J. Bir­ney Crum Sta­dium was dark last week­end with the ex­cep­tion of a semi-pro foot­ball game Satur­day night.

This week, the sta­dium will host three games in a span of about 27 hours.

East Strouds­burg North vis­its Dieruff at 7 p.m. Fri­day. At 1:30 Satur­day af­ter­noon, Strouds­burg takes on Allen and at 7:30 Satur­day night Cen­tral Catholic wel­comes un­beaten Easton.

Best bets to hit 1,000: Two Colo­nial League play­mak­ers will likely reach 1,000-yard mile­stones this week­end.

South­ern Le­high run­ning back Asher Smith needs 37 yards rush­ing against North­ern Le­high to hit 1,000 for the sea­son.

Sal­is­bury quar­ter­back Quintin Stephens needs 55 yards pass­ing against Catasauqua to reach 1,000 this sea­son and North­west­ern Le­high’s Deven Bollinger needs 179 in the air against Palmer­ton to also reach four fig­ures.

Car­di­nals to take flight: Even at 1-4, Rob Melosky’s Po­cono Moun­tain East squad would make the Dis­trict 2-11 5A sub­re­gional play­offs if the sea­son ended to­day and the Car­di­nals have a fa­vor­able sec­ond-half sched­ule start­ing with win­less Pleas­ant Val­ley Fri­day night.

Only one team left on the East sched­ule — Northamp­ton — has won more than one win half­way through the reg­u­lar sea­son.

Po­cono Moun­tain East will keep an eye on the Wal­len­pau­pack game at Wy­oming Val­ley West Fri­day night since those two will join the Car­di­nals in the bat­tle for one of the last sub­re­gional spots.

Games to watch

Nazareth (5-0 over­all, 4-0 EPC South) at Park­land (3-2, 2-2): Park­land has earned a rep­u­ta­tion for de­fen­sive ex­cel­lence un­der coach Tim Mon­c­man, but Nazareth has been the di­vi­sion’s stingi­est team this sea­son. The Blue Ea­gles have lim­ited foes to 15.4 points per game.

Park­land’s ag­gres­sive de­fen­sive front against the mo­bil­ity of Nazareth quar­ter­back An­thony Har­ris should keep ev­ery­one in Ore­field en­ter­tained.

Lib­erty (2-3, 0-3) at Em­maus (3-2, 1-2): Con­sider this gut-check time for Lib­erty. The Hur­ri­canes have lost three straight games, all within the di­vi­sion, and had two punts blocked for touch­downs last week against Park­land.

Lib­erty’s de­fen­sive front needs to stay dis­ci­plined against the speed of Em­maus ju­nior run­ning back Bran­don Camire or it risks a long night.

Easton (5-0, 3-0) at Cen­tral Catholic (3-2, 1-2), 7 p.m. Satur­day: Cen­tral Catholic scored more points Fri­day at East Strouds­burg North (52) than it did in its first four games com­bined (50). The Vik­ings won’t find Easton’s de­fense as gen­er­ous as East Strouds­burg North’s.

Quar­ter­back Matt Rauscher will need his best night this sea­son for Cen­tral Catholic to score enough points to keep pace with the Red Rovers.

East Strouds­burg South (5-0, 4-0) at Northamp­ton (4-1, 3-1): The di­vi­sion ti­tle is likely on the line as the Cava­liers in­vade Northamp­ton to take on a Konkrete Kids team striv­ing to prove it­self. For the sec­ond straight year, the K-Kids have bounced back from an open­ing-night loss to Park­land with four straight wins but the vic­to­ries have come against teams that are a com­bined 2-18.

South’s first-year head coach Matt Wal­ters teaches in the Northamp­ton Area School Dis­trict and spent a year as a K-Kids as­sis­tant. It’s go­ing to be an in­ter­est­ing and emo­tional night for him as South tries to re­main un­de­feated and prove it’s a le­git league and dis­trict con­tender.

South­ern Le­high (5-0) at North­ern Le­high (3-2): The Bull­dogs have the No. 1 ranked de­fense in the league, al­low­ing just 211 yards per game.

But North­ern Le­high hasn’t faced an of­fense as good as South­ern Le­high’s, espe­cially on the ground. The Spar­tans are av­er­ag­ing 420.6 yards per game, 331.2 on the ground. South­ern Le­high has three of the league’s top 12 rush­ers, in­clud­ing No. 1 man Asher Smith who has 963 yards and av­er­ages 10 yards per carry. Wil­son (2-3) at Pen Ar­gyl (2-3), 1:30 p.m. Satur­day: While a lot of at­ten­tion is go­ing to the Green Knights’ 100th meet­ing with Ban­gor on Oct. 26, these two have been bat­tling al­most ev­ery year since 1920 and meet­ing No. 97 fig­ures to be com­pet­i­tive. In fact, the en­tire se­ries has been com­pet­i­tive. Wil­son leads the se­ries 49-44-3, but Pen Ar­gyl won last year, 28-7.

Jim Thorpe at North Schuylkill: The Olympians lone two losses last year were to the Spar­tans — 8-6 in the reg­u­lar sea­son and 16-7 in the Dis­trict 11 3A semi­fi­nals. North Schuylkill then routed Notre Dame for the 3A ti­tle. Re­venge could weigh heav­ily on Jim Thorpe’s mind, but the more im­por­tant is­sue is get­ting a win that could help se­cure a spot in this year’s highly com­pet­i­tive Dis­trict 11 3A field.

SHARON K. MERKEL/SPE­CIAL TO THE MORN­ING CALL

Quar­ter­back An­thony Har­ris, right, and Nazareth will try to stay per­fect when they head to Park­land on Fri­day.

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