Green Knights rout N'western
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Northwestern's Mason Schuler tries to break away from Mike DePaolo (22) and another Pen Argyl defenser during Friday night's game.
Throughout the years, Northwestern has built a reputation as being a difficult place to play.
And that thought weighed heavily on Pen Argyl head coach Paul Reduzzi throughout this past week.
Reduzzi's worries and concerns, however, were quickly put to rest Friday night as the undefeated Green Knights continued their winning ways with a convincing 42-0 Colonial League victory over the Tigers.
"My two trips here as a head coach I hadn't won," said Reduzzi. "We respected their athletes and this is a tough place to play. This was a scary game for us.
"They're a good football team and you can't get caught looking at records. You can't fall asleep on anybody in this league."
Playing against Pen Argyl, it's easy to fall asleep focusing soley on Dylan Evans. The Knights' top player is a threat everytime he touches the ball and could very well be the league's MVP this season.
But the 8-0 squad also features a strong supporting cast, including Mike Racciato.
The junior had a solid overall game, running for 57 yards and two touchdowns while catching five passes for 60 more. His 21-yard reception set up his team's first score a two-yard run by Evans while a 37-yard gainer on a shovel pass led to another tally right before the half that pushed the margin to 22-0.
"He's tough," said Northwestern mentor Tom Linette, whose team dropped to 4-4. "He has that wrestler mentality. He's tough to block. He's tough to cover and he's tough to beat.
"That's a good team. We ran into a buzzsaw tonight. All the positives are about them. We knew the plays they were going to run and we called them, but we still couldn't stop them."
Linette's comments were especially true at the start of the second half.
Pen Argyl took the kickoff to start the third quarter, went to a single-wing offense, and drove 66 yards in 15 plays for the put-away touchdown.
Racciato carried seven times in the march, including the final two that upped the margin to 29-0.
"We knew we were going to come out in that," said the 5-7 junior. "It worked just like that last week. We went right down the field and it took a lot of time off the clock."
"They run like five plays out of it," said Linette of that single-wing. "Our guys aren't that big. We can't go toe-to-toe with (that). We have to hope for a play and hope for them to put the ball on the ground and they didn't."
Unfortunately for the Tigers, they didn't get any plays on offense either. Northwestern's most promising possession came in the second quarter, when it trailed 14-0. Payton Bachman had an 11-yard run and an 11-yard reception during a drive that reached the Knights' 27 yard-line.
"It wasn't our night to do anything," said Linette, whose team didn't reach the red zone and suffered its worst loss since 1993. "In the first half we had open receivers but we had quite a few drops.
"I'm glad they were concerned. That's somewhat a positive and I thank them for that compliment. We played so hard last week and I'm sure that was in the back of their mind."
Besides two scores from Evans and Racciato, Zach Miller had a 25-yard touchdown reception from Conor Gum while Nick Ronalds closed the scoring with a 41-yard interception return.