Nolehi tops PA
PEN ARGYL – It wasn’t always pretty.
But that wasn’t important.
Northern Lehigh turned several early gut wrenching near misses into a hard-nosed 14-8 Colonial League win Saturday over Pen Argyl.
The Bulldogs’ (3-1) offense showed bursts through the first two quarters, only to be left empty-handed.
“It means a lot, because when we went into halftime, we found who our leaders were on the team,” said Northern Lehigh quarterback Zach Moyer. “They gave everyone a speech that, ‘Hey, we got this.’
“And everyone came out and executed.”
The message was received. Where the Bulldogs stumbled in a scoreless first half, they soared after the intermission.
Northern Lehigh opened the scoring on its first drive of the third quarter when Moyer hit Mike Repsher in stride for a 53-yard score. Brett Misera’s extra point made it 7-0 with 5:54 to play in the third.
It was a heady play from Moyer to Trevor Amorim after a timeout that led to the Bulldogs’ next score. With Amorim standing wide open in the flat after the team broke the huddle late in the fourth quarter, Moyer, who passed for 166 yards, quickly flicked the ball to the speedy sophomore, who went 80 yards to make it 14-0 with 2:21 to play.
“That play was definitely not drawn up,” Amorim said. “That was just on the fly. It just happened.”
Amorim finished with 92 yards receiving on three catches. Repsher had five grabs for 71 yards.
“I believe we have really good chemistry between our quarterback, our linemen and our backfield,” said Repsher.
Northern Lehigh had scoring chances in the first half. But each time, the Green Knights (1-3) made a stand.
The Bulldogs were unable to capitalize after Repsher recovered a fumble near midfield midway through the first quarter, as Pen Argyl came up with a goal line stand on fourth down at the 1-yard line to keep Northern Lehigh out of the end zone.
A fumble on the Green Knights’ next drive, their second of the first quarter, put the Bulldogs in business at the 10. But Pen Argyl held, coming up with a stop on fourth down from the 8-yard line to keep the game scoreless.
After a punt on the Green Knights’ next drive, Northern Lehigh marched down the field before fumbling — the first of two in the second quarter — inside the 20-yard line.
The Bulldogs stayed calm amid their close calls before finally cashing in.
“Defensively, Pen Argyl’s pretty good, and their strength is kind of in the middle,” said Northern Lehigh head coach Joe Tout. “We want to be balanced, but we’re still a team that takes pride in running the ball.
“But between a couple guys that we have there, between Mike (Repsher), Trevor Amorim, we feel we have a little more speed on the edge, and that was the difference. That was the difference today.”
The Bulldogs’ defense also answered the bell in key moments. Repsher came away with an interception in the end zone on fourth down on the Green Knights’ initial drive of the fourth quarter to preserve the Bulldogs’ 7-0 lead.
Pen Argyl need little more than a minute to go 60 yards for a score after Northern Lehigh increased its lead to 14-0, with Gavin Amerman hitting Collin McKeague for a five-yard score. Amerman found Dylan Ashenfalder for the two-point play to make it 14-8 with 1:20 left.
But the Bulldogs recovered the ensuing onside kick attempt near midfield, and were able to run out the clock to seal the win.
JUST A BIT OUTSIDE … The second half started with Pen Argyl fumbling the kickoff, though the Green Knights recovered. The drive ended on a missed field goal that sailed wide left from the Northern Lehigh 24-yard line.
BRING IT BACK … Before Moyer hit Repsher for the Bulldogs first score of the second half, Joe Abidelli had a 78-yard touchdown run wiped out by a holding penalty.
ON TAP … Northern Lehigh returns home after back-to-back road games to face 3-1 Saucon Valley on Friday.