Let's face it the Colonial league football conference is loaded with talent this season and there is another great game on tap for Friday night. Northern Lehigh (6-1, 6-1 Colonial) will try to continue to stay on course for the postseason in week eight squaring off against Bangor (7-0, 7-0 Colonial) in the TIMES NEWS Game of the Week.
Although the 'Dawgs have already played and lost to Pen Argyl, which was the squad favored to win the Colonial League, an even bigger threat may be looming with their week eight opponent.
The Slaters are big and they are good. Big may be an understatement, with the Bangor line averaging 268 pounds across the board. Plug in a big-time tailback like Josh Wing and one can imagine that the Slaters are going to be pretty difficult to defend.
"Josh Wing is the best tailback in our league," said Northern Lehigh Head Coach Joe Tout. "He's relentless, has great vision, and is a terrific cut back player. They're obviously going to try and get him the ball so we have to limit his yards when he touches the ball."
Wing is having a banner year to say the least. Two weeks ago against Catasaqua he broke a Colonial League record rushing for 354 yards and three touchdowns. Last week Wing dismantled a Palmerton defense that up til last week was playing very well, rushing for 185 yards and returning two punts for touchdowns. The size of Wing's line definitely has helped him dominate the competition this season and Coach Tout knows the Northern Lehigh defense needs to be ready to play Friday night.
"This is the biggest team were going to face," said Tout. "The biggest thing we need to concentrate on for Friday night is to have gap control. That's what we have been stressing to the kids all week. We have to battle with them up front and play solid football."
Northern Lehigh definitely has the defense to give Wing and the Bangor offense a run for their money. The stubborn Bulldogs' "D" has only given up 7.5 points per game this season along with only allowing teams to rush for a meager 87 yards on the ground per game. The 'Dawgs in all only let up 174.9 yards of total offense per game.
The Northern Lehigh offense has put up some big numbers on the ground as well this season. Bulldogs' running back Trevor Yashur is third in the TIMES NEWS area in rushing accumulating 788 yards on 116 carries this season, which comes to a solid 6.79 yards per carry mark. Yashur has also scored ten touchdowns on the year, but isn't the only Bulldog carrying the ball. The Bulldogs as a whole average over 200 yards rushing per contest and 286.9 yards off total offense per game.
The Slaters defensive line is as big as their offensive unit with most of the players going both ways. However, Bangor has yet to face an offense as explosive as the Bulldogs all season and it will be interesting to see how the Slaters will react to the challenge. One thing is for certain Coach Tout knows his offense has to be balanced to keep the Slaters defensive attack off guard.
"We cannot be one dimensional this week," added Tout. "We definitely have to be balanced on offense and play better in the passing game than we have in the previous two weeks."
A win at Bangor would be a big win for the Bulldogs and their District 11 AA Playoff hopes, and anybody who knows anything about Northern Lehigh knows their is still a lot of fight in these 'Dawgs.