East Penn Press

Monday, September 23, 2019

Hornets expect Zephs to give their best effort

Thursday, September 5, 2019 by STEPHEN ALTHOUSE tkress@tnonline.com in Sports

Emmaus football coach Harold Fairclough and his team will attend a reunion of sorts this Friday night.

His Green Hornets (1-1, 1-1) travel to Whitehall to take on the Zephyrs (0-2, 0-1) at 7 p.m. Sept. 6. Whitehall is under the direction of new head coach Matt Senneca. For the past three seasons, Senneca served as Fairclough’s offensive coordinator at Emmaus.

“Matt’s a good coach,” said Fairclough. “He relates well to his players and he knows the ins and outs. He’s going to turn that program around.”

The Whitehall job is Senneca’s second stint as a head coach. He spent two seasons as the head man at Wilson, where he went 3-17 in 2014 and 2015.

Senneca has some offensive talent. Senior quarterback Anthony Nanoah can give opposing defenses problems with his ability to read defenses and quick release. Running back Ali Barkley, the younger brother of New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, is a constant threat to amass big yardage with his quick feet, fancy moves and outstanding speed. Wide receiver Allen Negrete makes the passing game go and an improved offensive line is giving Nanoah additional time.

The consensus is the Zephyr offense has improved from last season. The question is how much.

The Zephs need to sustain drives and punch it in early and often because their defense has had trouble stopping people.

Whitehall senior Linebacker Josh Novak is a hitting machine, and will require some special attention to keep him off the backs of Emmaus runners and receivers.

The defensive line is also better than the 2018 edition, but typically is still getting pushed around more than Whitehall coaching staff would like.

This was on display in the Zephyrs most recent contest against Easton. Leading 28-21 in the third period. the Red Rovers took over, outscoring Whitehall 25-0 to secure a 46-28 win. Poor special teams play contributed to the blowout, as a low snap from center set up the first Easton touchdown in their comeback.

“They are a well-coached, blue collar football team,” said Fairclough. “We have a lot of respect for them. We’re going to get their best effort.”