EHS can’t look past 0-2 Zephs
Last Friday night’s thrilling 43-42 last-second triumph over Nazareth left Emmaus football players buzzing.
But coach Harold Fairclough knows the season’s third game, which comes this Friday against Whitehall (0-2), is not going to be easy.
“This is the type of game you can get punched in the mouth,” the Hornet head coach said.
Guarding against complacency is Fairclough’s goal this week. In fact, it was the first thing he told his squad when it assembled for practice Monday. With school closed for Labor Day, the coach said his players will be hearing about the great Nazareth comeback from their classmates on Tuesday, then Wednesday and Thursday. His message is simple: Don’t sleep on the Zephyrs
“When it comes to Whitehall you can throw the records out the window,” Fairclough said. “They have good size upfront. They have big kids.”
Whitehall is coming off a 55-21 loss to Easton in the season’s second game. The size up front offensively did help Whitehall roll up 213 rushing yards in an opening-game loss to East Stroudsburg South. The young unit is likely to improve as the season progresses.
Besides the beef up front, interim head coach Justin Kondikoff also has speed at the skill positions. That quickness has the potential to create matchup problems for any squad. Junior running back Ali Barkley can turn on a dime. Quarterback Anthony Nanoah has completed 18 of 33 passes this season for 265 yards and four touchdowns and makes defenses nervous when he rushes the football. Receivers Allen Negrete and Joseph Herman each caught touchdown passes against the Red Rovers.
Defensively, Whitehall has stubbed its toes, surrendering 92 points in two games. It didn’t help they lost last year’s leading tackler Josh Novak to a season-ending knee injury in a scrimmage last month. At times this season they have struggled at executing fundamentals such as tackling and quickly shedding blocks.
Still, Fairclough says you can’t take Whitehall lightly.
“We have to make sure we don’t get caught up in the emotion of last week,” he said.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 7 at EPSD Stadium.