The Northern Lehigh football team has enjoyed a lot of success so far this season dominating the opposition on both sides of the football.
However, week six of Colonial League action will bring a much tougher test for the Bulldogs in the form of the Pen Argyl Green Knights. The Knights are 5-0 (5-0 CL) and are surely looking to knock off the 'Dawgs who are also 5-0 (5-0 CL). Both teams have been putting up staggering numbers this season, but Northern Lehigh Head Coach Joe Tout believes whoever controls their emotions better will have the best chance of getting the win.
"Our staff has been telling our kids all week that we have to keep our composure on the field," said Tout. "There are going to be some highs and lows for our kids during the game. If we can make it through the first two quarters without turning the ball over or giving up any big plays I like our chances."
Northern Lehigh Quarterback Dylan Hofmann also agrees that the Bulldogs are going to have some ups-and-downs, but it's key for them not to forget they have a job to do.
"There is no doubt that there are going to to be some emotional points in the game," said Hofmann. "We just have to fly around all night and give 100 percent for four quarters. They are going to stop us at some points and maybe move the ball on us as well, but we can't let that affect our composure on the field."
Northern Lehigh comes into Saturday averaging 320 yards-per-game on offense with 229 of those being rushing yards. The Bulldogs will certainly look to get the ball to running back Trevor Yashur. Yashur ranks third in the TIMES NEWS area in rushing with 61 carries for 601 yards and seven touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, the 'Dawgs are doing what teams have become accustomed to over the years. When they are playing Northern Lehigh it's going to be a rough night. The Bulldogs are only giving up 141 yards-per-game this season.
The 'Dawgs defense may have been dominant up to this point in the season, but they have not faced an offense like the Green Knights. In Pen Argyl's first five games they have outscored the opposition 204-27 and every contest has finished under the mercy rule. Pen Argyl also features a talented back in Dylan Evans. Evans has some incredible ability running the football, rushing 90 times for 687 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Green Knight's Quarterback Connor Gum likes to scores touchdowns as well. Out of his 14 completions this season, ten of them have been touchdowns.
One certainty going into Saturday's high stakes match-up is that both teams have earned the right to be in the spotlight. Northern Lehigh and Pen Argyl's game is the only area contest being played on Saturday this week.
"I've been telling the kids that we have earned the right to play in a game of this magnitude," said Tout. "It's going to be pretty crazy on Saturday. They bring a tailgating type of atmosphere and it's one of those places that you hate, but you love too."
No matter what kind of atmosphere the Green Knights' fan base creates, the game is still played on the field and Coach Tout knows that's why the emotional part of the game is so important.
"I hate to reiterate, but our kids know going into this game that the same things apply just as they have for the past five weeks," Tout added. "We need to weather the emotional storm early on and play the game like we know how to."