Explosive offense lifts Northwestern
HELLERTOWN - For the second week in a row Northwestern fell behind early then dominated for the next three and a half quarters.
Last week the Tigers were down 9-0 to Palisades before running off 47 straight points. This week they fell behind Saucon Valley, 7-0, after a long Panther drive. But they evened it up on the ensuing kick off and cruised from there to a 42-7 win.
"Tonight our offense was extremely explosive," said quarterback/wide receiver Ben Snyder, who ran for 102 yards on three carries.
The Tigers' offense was only on the field for one play in the first quarter, and that went for a touchdown. Their second offensive play, which came less than two minutes into the second quarter, also yielded a touchdown.
"We can't let teams get a jump on us," said two-way lineman Doug Saks. "But I like the way we came back and scored."
After Saucon Valley opened the game with a 27-play, 70-yard touchdown drive that lasted 6 minutes and 41 seconds , Northwestern (2-0) answered with an 85-yard kick off return touchdown from Payton Bachman that tied the game with 3:05 left in the first quarter.
"That was awesome," Bachman said. "Last game I could have ran one back but I got tackled."
Three plays later Northwestern's Tyler Richardson intercepted a pass from Saucon Valley's Christian Kennedy, giving his team the ball at the Panthers' 35-yard line.
Ty Cunningham took the first-down carry 35 yards for a touchdown and a 14-7 lead with 1:56 left in the first quarter.
Four plays into Saucon Valley's next possession, the Tigers' Mason Schuler picked off a Kennedy pass and raced 40 yards for a touchdown to make the score 21-7 with four seconds left in the first quarter.
"You can't give a team like Northwestern opportunities like we did," said Panther head coach Matt Evancho. "They definitely took advantage of every opportunity they had and that's the sign of a good team."
With momentum on their side, the Tigers kept rolling. They forced a Panthers three-and-out, and after a 68-yard punt got the ball on their own 11-yard line.
On the first play of the drive Snyder faked to Ty Cunningham up the middle then found a hole left and ran 89 yards for a touchdown.
Two possessions later, Snyder completed two passes on a four-play, 37-yard touchdown drive that ended with his 12-yard touchdown pass to Bachman with 2:47 left in the second quarter. That ended the first-half scoring as Northwestern took a 35-7 lead into halftime.
The Tigers put the nail in the coffin when they opened the second half with an 8-play, 73-yard touchdown drive which was capped by Snyder's 12-yard touchdown run. With a 42-7 lead, the mercy rule was invoked with 8:12 left in the third quarter.
While last week's star was Cunningham, this week Bachman and Snyder led the way offensively. Bachman had 49 yards on three carries as well as 26 yards on two catches.
"If you focus on Ty, which is what I think Saucon Valley was doing tonight," said Northwestern head coach Tom Linette. "Somebody else can hurt you."