NL's Mr. Everything wins award
Jake Kern has been that special player that every coach dreams about.
He does everything asked of him and goes that extra mile if he knows it is going to help his team.
Last Friday night against Palmerton, the senior utility player was asked to do a little of everything.
When the final seconds ticked off the clock, he had three touchdowns to his credit on offense and played havoc in the defensive secondary in the Bulldogs' 52-6 win over the Blue Bombers, earning him TIMES NEWS Football Player of the Week honors.
"We put so much on that kids plate," said Northern Lehigh head coach Joe Tout. "He's a flanker, we run him at quarterback at times, he returns kicks for us, he's our free safety. The kid just does so many things for us.
"Last year we were a different team in that our goal was to get Cody (Remaley) the ball and rely on that offense line. Coming into this season, teams we faced thought it was going to be Remaley left and Remaley right. But Jake has taken so much pressure off of him.
"He's dynamic when he gets the ball. When you look at him it's deceiving. When we watch him on film, I guess the best way to describe him is slippery. He's done so many things well that it has taken our offense from where it was last year to a new level with the amount of points we've been putting up."
Kern carried the ball just five times against the Bombers gaining 113 yards and scoring three times.
His first touchdown came on the opening drive with the Bulldogs faced with a third and seven. He took it 26 yards breaking tackles along the way.
"The first touchdown was just a power play," said Kern, describing the scores. "The second one was the triple option. I basically read the end and give it to the fullback or pull it. I saw they didn't come up defensively so I just took it and ran."
The second touchdown was a perfectly run triple option, where Kern just saw the opening, tucked it under his arm and raced 36 yards for the score.
His last TD came with 4:04 still left in the first half on a 42-yard run.
"The most important thing is, he's a team player," added Tout. "He really is. If you look for one all-around athlete in our league, he's the athlete.
"His interceptions this year are down because nobody is throwing the ball over the middle against us because of last year.
"He started since he's a sophomore and the thing that sticks out to me the most is last year, he had an 81-yard touchdown return against Pen Argyl. He told me later that they ran the same formation in the first half and same route so he keyed it.
"He takes film home and watches it over and over again and is like another coach in the secondary."
Kern gave the coaching staff credit for preparing him and his teammates for different situations each week.
"This whole year we're going to remember each week, just because it's been so special," Kern noted. "We're all like a close family and we enjoy celebrating together."
And Kern and his Bulldogs hope they can celebrate a little more this season.