Coming off last week's big win at North Schuylkill, Tamaqua head coach Sam Bonner's major job this week was to make sure the Blue Raiders didn't have a letdown.
Dalton Nunemacher answered the question when he fielded the first Schuylkill Haven punt and raced 41 yards into the end zone for a touchdown.
The Blue Raiders never looked back and rolled to a 27-6 victory over the Hurricanes for their seventh straight win without a loss this season, before a big crowd at TAHS Stadium.
Nunemacher had quite the night as he scored three TDs on the night, racing 40 yards for a score on the ground and catching a 55-yard pass from quarterback Nate Edmonds. He also crossed the goal line another time, but the TD was called back because of a holding penalty.
"Obviously we were nervous this week," said Bonner afterwards. "Coming off a real big victory over North Schuylkill, we tried to keep our kids grounded to go one week at a time. I think they came out and performed tonight.
"Our special teams, defensively we caused some turnovers and offensively we made big plays when we had to."
Nunemacher's punt return for six set the tempo in the Blue Raiders' favor early and Dustin Vandermartin added the point after for a 7-0 lead with 6:48 remaining in the first quarter.
Tamaqua got great field possession at the start of the second quarter when it blocked a punt and took over on the Haven 24. On second down, quarterback Nate Edmonds hit Tyler Krell with a pass and the latter ran in for the 24-yard score. Vandermartin's second PAT made it 14-0 with still over 10 minutes left until intermission.
Nunemacher widened the Blue Raiders lead when he broke loose for a 40-yard touchdown run with 2:39 remaining in the half to make it 20-0.
"That punt return was definitely a big spark," said Bonner. "Dalton's been a big scorer for us all year. We sputtered a little bit on offense on that first series, but that set the tone when he returned the punt."
Tamaqua kept the Hurricanes from gaining any offensive momentum when Dylan Houser recovered a fumble giving the Raiders good field position at their own 45.
The Raiders went right for the home run as Edmonds dropped a perfect pass into the arms of Nunemacher and the end result was a 55-yard touchdown. Vandermartin's point after set the tone at 27-0.
The Hurricanes answered back with their only score with 1:56 left in the third quarter when William Casella ran in from three-yards out to end a 12-play 69-yard drive that took over seven minutes off the clock.
Schuylkill Haven drove all the way down to the Tamaqua nine on another long possession, but turned the ball over on downs and the Raiders eventually ran out the clock.
""It's nice to be 7-0 but you always have to take it one game at a time," Bonner reminded. "With the athleticism we have with this senior class we have a shot to make an impact and the kids are."