Indians host Stroudsburg
Opening up the season with a win is always a goal for any football program.
Getting that win against a rival team is even better, and for second year Lehighton coach Tom McCarroll, a win against his alma mater really takes the cake.
McCarroll and the tribe were able to top his ole' ball coach and the Colts last Friday night, making this week's Mountain Valley Conference match-up between Lehighton and Stroudsburg (1-0) an interesting one at that.
The Indians looked impressive in their win over Marian in all facets, and coach McCarroll attributes their success to the hardwork by his players and the intense preparation by his coaching staff.
"My hat really goes off to my coaching staff for the job they did preparing our kids for last week's game," said McCarroll. "I think the big difference between this year and last year is how extremely well prepared we were in week one this year compared to last season. With a year under our belts now, we're better at that. Also, the kids did a good job of executing and their hardwork all off-season and at camp came together for us."
The Lehighton defense was so prepared in fact, that they committed 15 tackles for a loss against the Colts and out of Marian's 41 plays on offense, 20 gained yardage, while 21 gained no yardage or went for negative yards.
However, as the old saying goes "rearview mirrors are only beneficial when driving a vehicle."
So, the Indians must move onto week two where they certainly are presented with a challenge. They will head to Stroudsburg on Friday night to face the always athletic and competitive Mounties.
The Mounties put up 49 points against Lehigh Valley Conference member Northampton last week, which means the Lehighton "D" must once again be extremely prepared.
The Indians main concern defensively will be to stop Stroudsburg speedster Gerald Douglas. The junior running back ran for 214 yards and three touchdowns last week against the Konkrete Kids. The Tribe must also be aware of the Mounties' quarterback Mike Nikorak. The Junior signal caller is big and he is strong (6-4, 190) and possesses a strong arm, along with the ability to run the football.
"They create a major challenge for us, there is no denying that," said McCarroll. "We just need to go about business as usual, prepare and execute. We tell our guys to always play loose, play with a lot of emotion, and play smart. I think if we play with the level of intensity that we played with last week and we don't have mental breakdowns, then we have a good shot to come away with a win."
Somewhere McCarroll believe the Indians need to be a little more consistent is on offense.
Lehighton was balanced against the Colts, rushing for 143 yards and passing for 165. Northampton was successfull at times running the football against the Mounties, rushing for 190 yards at 4.8 yards per carry, meaning that the Lehighton rushing attack needs to be on point come Friday night.
"I think we definitely need to be more consistent offensively," said McCarroll. "We need to run the ball better and we need to move the ball a little better. When you're playing a team like Stroudsburg that is very well coached you have to be clicking on all cylinders. That means our offense needs to play well, our defense needs to be stout, and our special teams has to be mistake free."
After the Indians week one performance it's evident that coach McCarroll and his staff have the Indians moving in the right direction. Now, it's time to see if they can take the next step in their plan of resurgence for Lehighton football.