Nolehi ends CL perfect
Patrick Deutsch/Special to the TIMES NEWS Northern Lehigh's Danny Marsh fights for some yards while Palmerton defender Alex Vignone tries to drag him down from behind.
Northern Lehigh notched its third unbeaten Colonial League and retained the "Battle of Blue Mountain" Trophy on Friday night with a 52-6 rout of Palmerton at Bulldog season.
The Bulldogs never left the outcome in doubt scoring 45 first half points and letting the Bombers over the midfield stripe only twice before intermission.
Cody Remaley and Jake Kern each scored three times for the Bulldogs with Remaley going over the 6,000 yard rushing mark for his career with 6,027.
"Palmerton has been a team that has played opponents tough for at least three quarters so we stressed this week that we had to come out early and I think our kids did that tonight," said Northern Lehigh head coach Joe Tout. "The turnovers were big, the blocked punts were big. I'm just happy our kids took care of business."
And that they did.
The Bulldogs put together a 10 play, 59-yard drive after taking the opening kickoff with Kern racing around the left end for a 26-yard touchdown. Channing Shiffert booted his first of his six PAT's and with 7:08 left in the first quarter, the Bulldogs had a 7-0 lead.
The Bombers' Geo Rodriguez recovered a fumble on his own 12 to stop a Northern Lehigh drive on its second possession, but it didn't materialize into anything. Dalton Johnson blocked a Palmerton punt and it went out of the end zone for a safety giving Northern Lehigh a 9-0 lead.
On the second play after receiving the kickoff following the safety, Kern broke loose again for a 36-yard touchdown and with 2:08 still left in the opening quarter, the Bulldog lead went to 16-0.
Kern was "Mr. Momentum" for the Bulldogs in the first quarter as he intercepted a pass and ran it back to the Palmerton 15 to set up another score.
This time, Matt Gill took a pass from Dylan Hofman and rambled 25 yards into the end zone and a 23-0 advantage.
Palmerton's woes continued at the start of the second quarter as Kyle Greenawald bust through to block another Bomber punt giving Northern Lehigh the ball on the Bomber three.
Remaley got into the act on the first play and covered the three yards into the end zone. After a Palmerton penalty, the Bulldogs went for two with Remaley stepping into the end zone.
Remaley scored again just over four minutes later on a 23-yard run that he set up on a 40-yard scamper a play earlier. With 6:02 still left in the half, the Bulldogs led 38-0.
The Bombers ran out of downs on the Nolehi 31 and three plays later, Kern scored his third touchdown of the night on a 42-yard run after Matt Gill picked up 34 yards on a carry.
"It's just a great night," said Tout. "I think our kids are getting better each week so we feel pretty good where we are at."
With the "Mercy Rule" in effect in the second half, the Bulldogs added their final score after Kyle Schomp recovered a fumble on the Bomber 27. Remaley walked into the end zone from four yards out and Shiffert made it 52-0.
Palmerton avoided a shutout when Nick Carullo snuck in from the one with eight seconds left in the game setting the final score a 52-6.
"It's been a crazy year," said Palmerton head coach Paul McArdle. "We were dealt with a lot of adversity throughout the year, but I'm proud of the kids for staying positive.
"Christian Marcin sprained his MCL in the first half and that changed our game plan 100 percent. Almost every one of our seniors missed at least one game and some multiple games but that's not an excuse. Northern Lehigh is very good and they have a very nice team here."