NL seeks revenge against Catty
Usually a football team has to wait a whole year to get revenge against an opponent who upset them during the season.
The Northern Lehigh Bulldogs have been licking their chops since Catasauqua handed them a stunning 21-7 loss back on Oct. 30.
On Saturday night, the Bulldogs get a chance to redeem themselves when they host the Roughies in a District 11 AA semifinal at 7 o'clock at Bulldog Stadium.
"Last time, they physically took it to our kids," said No. Lehigh head coach Joe Tout. "We have to make sure that our kids understand that. We're just going to take a physical week of practice
"There shouldn't be a whole lot that we'll have to say as far as knowing the physical ability of Catty. They're really well coached. I think their coaches do a nice job with adding a little twist each week offensively. Defensively, they give you different looks. So our goal this week is to make sure our kids know when we have the ball we have to be on people."
Catasauqua head coach Tom Falzone thinks highly of his defense and he should since it held Northern Lehigh's single season rushing record holder Cody Remaley to just 69 yards on 19 carries in the earlier meeting.
"It has been a true team effort with our defense," Falzone said. "Every week, we seem to have one or two players who are stepping up at the right time. We have also had to work through some tough times with our injuries.
"But every week, I normally wait to see what (defensive coordinator) Jim (Schaffer) comes up with to plan against each team. I handle most of the offense, and I wait to see what he tells me with the defense. It's a system that has been working."
The main architect of the defense is Schaffer, who has relied on his staff of defensive assistants Brad Bloszinsky, Ed Csencsits and Bob Panny. Both Csencsits (Catasauqua) and Panny (Whitehall) are former head coaches.
"We really have some gutty kids," Schaffer said. "They have responded well to everything we have asked of them.
"We have some kids here who manage to get the job done, no matter what they are facing. They have played together for a long time, and that helps. They have an acute sense of knowing where each other is on the field, and that's something you really can't coach."
The Bulldogs must find ways to get Remaley loose this time, who according to TIMES NEWS stats, has 1,785 yards on 283 carries this season, which breaks the old single-season rushing mark set by Nick Hosford back in 2005.
"I remember watching him when I was little," said Remaley "He was kind of like an idol to me."
A lot of eyes will be on the Nolehi offensive line and blocking back Matt Gill to see if they can win the battle this time to spring their scatback loose.
"We didn't expect a 200-yard rushing night from him last week, so it wasn't something that we really talked about," said Tout, when talking about Remaley. "It's well deserved. He's a special kid. When you think about how much we run the ball here to set that record is even that more impressive."
The offensive line dedicated themselves to getting stronger in the off-season and it has stood out this season.
"You could see it last Friday night," said Tout. "We'd just line up in the Power-I and you could see the Salisbury kids getting up slow and we're getting three or four yards on a push."
The entire group gets along so well that they're like a family and all know they share a part in the rushing record.
"Andy Hoke, our center, is a two-year starter and one of the better ones we've had here," said. Tout. "Our two guards are Daniel Huemmer, who moved into the area from Germany four years ago and for him to step in has been a big boost and Christian Freudenberger, is probably our best offensive lineman.
"Right tackle Nick Hartman is another starter back and dedicated himself to get better in the off-season. On the left side, Brandon Mohrey is also a two-year starter."
Mike Buresh and Joey Seremula are the two tight ends that give the Bulldog offense added push and add in Gill at fullback.
"Any running back in the world would love to run behind a back like Gill," said Tout. "When we send him to kick out an end, he gets the job done. And when we run toss, Cody just follows him until Matt takes his kid in or out and then makes his cut."
The Bulldogs continue to take it one step at a time. This week, the step gets a little bigger.
Writers Scott Pagel and Mike Haines contributed to this story.