'Dogs to battle PA
If there is one thing that Northern Lehigh head coach Joe Tout preaches to his team it is to stay focused on one game at a time. Never look ahead.
Needless to say, it had to be pretty tough for the Bulldogs, who are now 5-0 on the season, not to want to look ahead to this week's matchup the past two weeks.
Northern Lehigh traveled to Palisades and Salisbury for its two latest wins and neither team has a win between them. The Bulldogs defeated the Pirates 52-0 and followed that up with a 67-28 victory over the Falcons.
This week, things get real exciting.
The Bulldogs host the only other unbeaten Colonial League team, Pen Argyl, this Friday night. And the winner will control its own destiny as far as the league title is concerned.
The Green Knights scored with 22 seconds remaining last Friday to beat Southern Lehigh 15-12 for its fifth win of the season, setting up this week's battle.
"This might be the best defense in our league that we'll see this year," said Tout earlier this week. "Any time you see something like that, it's the basics. You can't have turnovers, you can't have penalties.
"We were happy Friday night at Salisbury. It was the first time that we had no penalties from our first team. We cut down on the mental mistakes and we didn't have turnovers. That's going to be the key offensively this week."
Last year, Tout remembers that what the Green Knights did defensively was cut the Bulldogs up front.
"Their defensive linemen would submarine going all fours and that shuts down the counter trey," Tout said. "They're going to have something for us. We're trying to prep for all different looks, but we also felt last year when they did that, it gave us the off tackle play."
The Bulldogs also figure that the Green Knights will challenge them to throw the football.
"They like to take their safety, walk him up and blitz him and send him up over the top at times," said Tout. "Their two defensive ends are very good and so are their linebackers. They have a lot of confidence and they showed that two weeks ago against Wilson and in the second half against Southern Lehigh."
One thing that the Bulldogs know for sure, is that Pen Argyl feeds off junior running back Dylan Evans. Evans, the team's leading rusher, gained more that 1,500 yards last season and scored 22 TDs. He is also a key to the team's defense, having intercepted eight passes last season.
Also returning is quarterback Nathan Hood, the only senior that starts on offense, who passed for 1,442 yards last year and will finish his career with over 3,000 yards passing.
"They want to get the ball to Evans," said Tout. "They'll line him up in different places. So our key this week is to know where he is at all times. Most of the time it all depends where he lines up, tells what they're going to do. He'll take a direct snap and sometimes when he doesn't, they'll run the option and look to pitch it to him right away."
The Bulldogs will counter with the forces of all-time leading rusher Cody Remaley, Jake Kern, Matt Gill and QB Dylan Hofmann.
All eyes in the Colonial League will definitely be focused on Bulldog Stadium on Friday night.