York Suburban coaches invited Ayden Kohler, who was diagnosed with brain cancer last month, to coach the team during Tuesday's practice. Zach Miller - GameTimePA.com
A month ago, Fred Mulbah planned to leave his football career behind to focus on basketball.
Friday night, he put the pads on for the first time this year, and blew past York Suburban defenders both times he touched the ball. Playing wide receiver, the Bobcats' junior took a couple of end-arounds for touchdowns as Northeastern coasted to a 49-7 win.
“It feels great," Mulbah said after the game. "I was gonna miss it if I didn’t play, so I decided to come back. All my close friends play and for a lot of them, it's their last year. It was a lot of fun.”
Mulbah returned to the team in the last week of August, but captains and teammates decided he would sit out the first game as a consequence of his late arrival. Mulbah, a GameTimePA YAIAA all-star last season, accepted that decision without dispute.
He smiled wide after the game, complimenting his teammates on their efforts.
There were plenty of compliments to go around, as the Bobcats scored seven touchdowns without even forcing a turnover. Quarterback Shannon Valenti ran for two touchdowns, and three other Bobcats found the endzone as Northeastern built a 28-0 lead in the first quarter and continued to pull away from there.
“We had some new installs today and they worked successfully," Northeastern coach Jon Scepanski said. "The kids executed them outstandingly. We got the momentum and were just able to keep that momentum.”
York Suburban played the game without five starters, including quarterback Ben Igo, who sat out with a shoulder injury. Running back Teague Hoffman, who threw a touchdown pass on a trick play as time expired in the first quarter, left the game with an injury of his own late in the first half.
Freshman Max Reinecker started at quarterback for the Trojans, and completed nine of 17 passes for 52 yards.
“I’ve personally never had a freshman quarterback ever start for me in 20 years of coaching. (Offensive coordinator Brian) Marshall’s never had a freshman quarterback start for him in 30 years of coaching," York Suburban coach Andy Loucks said. "Max, I thought, did a fantastic job. He made a couple tiny errors, but nothing big. I thought he did awesome.”
Northeastern 49, York Suburban 7
N -- Shannon Valenti 10 run (Hayden Seifert kick), 7:48.
N -- Fred Mulbah 42 run (Seifert kick), 5:54.
N -- Taemar Willis 78 punt return (Seifert kick), 3:38.
N -- Mulbah 19 run (Seifert kick), 0:52.
YS -- Colin Deardorff 71 pass from Teague Hoffman (Zach Weinstein kick), 0:00.
N -- Valenti 59 run (Seifert kick), 9:16.
N -- Anu Johnson 6 run (Seifert kick), 0:55.
N -- Chris Whack 43 run (Seifert kick), 7:43.
Rushing — N, Anu Johnson 13-95, Chris Whack 3-54, Shannon Valenti 4-77, Fred Mulbah 2-61, Daniel Thomas 1-(-1), Frank Brown 8-18. YS, Teague Hoffman 6-10, Peter Gronki 3-10, Savion Harrison 2-17, Max Reinecker 2-(-22).
Passing — N, Valenti 2-5-25-0, Zech Sanderson 2-3-24-0. YS, Reinecker 9-17-52-0, Hoffman 1-1-71-0.
Receiving — N, Johnson 1-4, Coby Motley 1-21, Daniel Thomas 1-14, Quinn Walker 1-10. YS, Deardorff 3-83, Hoffman 4-17, T.J. Hoover 1-4, Savion Harrison 1-4, Bodhi Wilson 1-15.
Watch: Northeastern jumped out to a big first-quarter lead and ran away with a 60-6 victory against Daniel Boone Friday, Sept. 2. Jim Seip, GameTimePA