Article By: JEFF MOELLER Special to the Press
This season, Catasauqua head football coach Tom Falzone believes his club can answer their critics. The Roughies impressive 3-0 start has rocketed them into the limelight among some of the better teams in the Lehigh Valley and their start has taken the first steps in developing a new image.
"Every year, people say that Catasauqua might be the team to really make a difference," stated the four-year head coach. "This year, we have made people believe we can be that team. People are beginning to recognize that we can be a strong team throughout the entire season.
"It is a real credit to our kids and the coaching staff, both of whom have worked very hard. It's nice to be 3-0 at this point and at the top of the (Colonial) league."
Catty further solidified their recent rash of success when they easily disposed of Palisades, 40-0, last Friday night. The Roughies scored on their first two possession and they forced a fumble that resulted in a score to take a commanding 19-0 lead midway through the second quarter en route to a 27-0 halftime lead.
It was another night of a balanced attack as Palisades aimed to shutdown the Roughies running attack of Ra'Von Burton and Eric Matz by having seven men in the box. Instead, Catty quarterback Zack Bradley went to the air and connected on three first-half touchdowns.
"We knew Palisades would be physical up front and their plan was to stop our running game,' Falzone said. "So we went to our passing game and it fell on Bradley' shoulders. He (Bradley) did a nice job.
"Once we hit a few big passing plays, they (Palisades) had to let up and that allowed us to go back to our running game. It also showed how balance we can be on offense and that will help us down the stretch."
Falzone also credited the overall line play. The offensive line gave Bradley has plenty of time, and it also opened holes for the running game. The defensive front has been able to penetrate quickly to cause plenty of havoc in the backfield.
"Our offensive line has been playing great all season long," Falzone said. "They haven't give up a sack yet and (line coach Bob) Bydlon has really done a nice job with them.
"Defensively, we have been quick enough to avoid blocks and throw offenses off balance and put plenty of pressure on quarterbacks."
Along with Alex Parker and Paryss Marshall who have snared their share of receptions, Falzone also praised the play of Jacob and Zach Stopay, both of whom have quietly made multiple contributions on both sides of the ball. Jacob Stopay caught a 39-yard touchdown pass against Palisades.
"The Stopay brothers have gotten lost in the shuffle," Falzone said. "They have made some big plays for us. Most teams will look to stop Alex (Parker) and Paryss (Marshall), but both of them (Stopays) have made some big blocks and catches. They give us another weapon on offense."
Despite a convincing win, Falzone doesn't want his team to get complacent when they travel to Salisbury Friday night.
"In that game (Palisades), we probably had our most mistakes this season," he said. "But all of them were mental errors and can be fixed. We can't afford to have two kicks blocked because someone stepped the wrong way.
"I yelled at them at halftime about it and they told me that we had the big lead. But we need to continue to execute and do the types of things that got us to this point."
And that point may become more extensive over the next few weeks.