High school football fan guide
Week 6 sees a big night for past, current Konkrete Kids.
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.
Quarterback Anthony Harris, right, and Nazareth will try to stay perfect when they head to Parkland on Friday.