Bethlehem Press

Monday, November 18, 2019
Press photo by Linda RothrockMalik Thomas breaks free during Saturday afternoon’s game with Dieruff. The Hawks now take on Freedom in a big, early-season showdown. Press photo by Linda RothrockMalik Thomas breaks free during Saturday afternoon’s game with Dieruff. The Hawks now take on Freedom in a big, early-season showdown.

Pates, Hawks ready for their Week 2 city clash

Thursday, August 29, 2019 by Peter Car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

Week one could have been a glorified scrimmage week for many EPC South teams, as they took on their counterparts from the North. Bethlehem Catholic and Freedom each had lopsided affairs in hand, as the Pates torched East Stroudsburg North 58-0 and Becahi slammed Dieruff 48-7.

As week two gets underway, the real tests begin for many of the area teams and all eyes will be on BASD Stadium Friday night when Freedom hosts Becahi in their annual early season showdown.

Freedom won last year’s showdown 37-20, always keeping a lead on the Hawks, as they jumped out to a 21-0 lead and never looked back.

Hawks head coach Joe Henrich was pleased with what his team took away from their week one victory, but knows Friday night is a different animal.

“Friday is going to be an awesome night,” Henrich said. “Two really good programs who have had to replace some big pieces from last year. Lots of talent on both sides “I think we learned a little about or group [last week], we prepared with focus, I thought we executed pretty well for first time out. I like the pieces we have.”

Tavion Banks ran for 116 yards and four touchdowns on nine carries last week, as he’ll be one of the main targets for Freedom prep work this week.

Banks only gained 80 yards on 14 carries last season in this series and Roeder hopes to bottle him up again.

“Beca was dominant against Dieruff and they played aggressively on defense and were balanced on offense,” Roeder said. “They have big play capability from the backfield and in the passing game. The keys for us are to limit their explosive plays and be balanced and execute on offense.”

Roeder was happy with how his first team executed last week on the road, as quarterback Jared Jenkins played nearly perfect, completing 7-of-8 passes for 199 yards and four TD’s.

“I told our guys our focus was on effort and execution and we saw both of those,” said Roeder of their week one performance. “We only ran 22 plays with our first team guys and they executed well, which led to some explosive plays.”

Both coaches know that they’ll have to prepare for things they didn’t see on film from week one. Henrich just hopes his team can contain Freedom’s offensive pieces to slow them from jumping to a similar start like last year.

“They are fast on the perimeter,” Henrich said. “As always they are physical up front and obviously have a QB who knows how to win. The biggest issue is, I’m sure they didn’t show much [on film] knowing the situation, so we will have to prepare for some things they didn’t show in week one.”