SALISBURY TOWNSHIP Last week, the Northern Lehigh football team not only suffered its first loss of the season, but one of the tougher defeats the program has seen in the past few years.
But behind an offense that featured a total of 247 yards on the ground led by Caleb Johnson with 112 yards rushing the Bulldogs responded with a convincing 38-6 victory over Salisbury on Friday night
"This one had more to do with last week," said head coach Joe Tout. "We said to be honest with our kids, that it was probably a bad loss for our program. One of the worst we had in a couple years because we didn't play to our potential [and] we were flat."
A week after not living up to their abilities against Palisades and having a few kids quit the team last week, Tout believes the Bulldogs put together their most dominant performance yet last night at Salisbury High School.
"This is the most complete game we've played," said Tout. "It comes at a good point."
"You got to rebound after a game like that," said Johnson. "I thought we did that well. We're starting the tougher part of our schedule so you need a confidence booster going into that."
After leading 6-0 after the first quarter, the Bulldogs showed how dangerous they could be on both sides of the ball in the second.
The Bulldogs (4-1) opened the second quarter with a toss to Johnson that went for 19 yards and the team's second touchdown. On the team's next possession and about five minutes later, Johnson plunged in from four yards out to make it 18-0 Bulldogs.
"We told our kids to be excited," said Tout. "After the first half at Southern Lehigh in game one, we were just not putting together a full four quarters of effort. And I thought we did that tonight."
Just 53 seconds later, Johnson and the Bulldogs struck again. After a Falcon snap that lost 36 yards and ended up at the Salisbury 2-yard line, Johnson ran in another score.
Then Johnson showed off his pass catching ability to close out his dynamic quarter in which he scored all four Bulldog touchdowns. After taking a swing pass from quarterback Dan Marsh, Johnson broke a number of tackles en route the the 45-yard touchdown scamper.
"The blocking was phenomenal," said Johnson. "They really owned the game I thought - our line. I thought we actually could have done better as far as running."
The Falcons wouldn't be able to recover from the Bulldogs' 25-point second quarter that forced Salisbury into four turnovers. A lost fumble for the Falcons on the second half's opening kickoff was capped off by an Antoine Davis four-yard score that made it 38-0.
The Falcons (1-4) scored on a late touchdown pass from Derek Brown to Dominic Rossetti.
Johnson combined for 175 total yards for the Bulldogs. Marsh added 50 yards on the ground and 81 through the air.
The Bulldogs will next host Pen Argyl (4-1) next Friday night.