KINTNERSVILLE The dominance of Northern Lehigh's offense has been well documented this season. The Bulldog defense might not be as well known, but it can be every bit as dominating as the offense.
Friday night the Bulldogs defense took the forefront in a 52-0 win at Palisades.
Northern Lehigh shut down the Pirates' running game, allowing a negative (-6) rushing total for the game and just 48 total yards for the Pirate offense. It also forced three tunrovers, two of which resulted in touchdowns.
"We challenged the kids tonight," said Northern Lehigh head coach Joe Tout. "Before the game we talked to the kids about coming out defensively with an attitude. I was proud of the effort [on defense] tonight."
The Bulldogs stuffed Palisades for negative yardage on 12 of 49 offensive plays. They allowed just six first downs, forced three fumbles, recovered two fumbles and picked off two passes.
After starting quarterback Josh Parris left the game late in the first half, back up Dan Yashinski felt pressure every time he dropped back to throw.
Because the Bulldogs don't have any two-way starters on their offensive or defensive lines, it allows the big guys to stay rested.
"That's really big because we're used to playing both ways," said defensive lineman Kyle Schomp. "To have fresh kids helps out a lot."
Schomp had four tackles for loss, including a 7-yard sack that forced a punt on the Pirates' first possession of the second half.
The defensive play helped Northern Lehigh open a first-half lead despite not being at its best on offense.
Palisades committed nine players in the box to stop Cody Remaley, the Colonial League's all-time leading rusher. He gained just 12 yards on his first six carries.
"They took away Cody so we did some different things," Tout said.
Northern Lehigh's first touchdown on a misdirection play. Quarterback Dylan Hoffman faked a handoff up the middle then ran uncontested around the left side of the line for a 19-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 5:59 left in the first quarter. That drive was only 33 yards thanks to a Jake Kern interception that gave his team goood field position.
After a Palisades fumble, Northern Lehigh took over at its own 44-yard line. Remaley was stuffed for a loss on two straight plays before Hoffman found receiver Caleb Johnson wide uncovered down the left sideline. The sophomore made the catch and strolled in for the 58-yard touchdown to make it 13-0 with 3:55 left in the first.
After the defense forced a Pirate three-and-out, the Bulldogs took over and were backed up after two penalties made it fourth and 30 at the 50-yard line.
They went to what Tout called the team's "bread and butt