Catty beats Nolehi as Penn Argyl is up next
Much-needed victories usually don’t happen in the second week of the season. However, the Roughies arguably faced that task, and they answered the call.
Catty had dropped a 47-29 decision to Salisbury in their opener in which they allowed 588 yards of offense from the Falcons.
With anticipation and aspiration on a high note for the season, the Roughies couldn’t afford to put themselves in a 0-2 hole to begin the season when they traveled to Northern Lehigh, and still hold reasonable hopes of a .500 or better season as well as a district playoff.
They easily could be in the same predicament when they face Pen Argyl Saturday.
The Roughies jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the second quarter against Northern Lehigh, two scores coming from the defense, which has been under scrutiny since last season.
Wil-Quon Clemons returned a fumble 41 yards for a touchdown and Justis Jourdain brought back an interception return 45 yards.
But Northern Lehigh rallied in the second quarter and scored twice before halftime to cut the deficit to 21-14.
Like they have in the second half over the past year, though, Catty put the game away with 17 points after halftime. Devon Troxell booted a 23-yard field goal and Clemons (20 yards) and Derrick Rodriguez (1 yard) scored on touchdown runs.
Through the first two games, Clemons had 236 yards with four touchdowns, and Rodriguez had 150 yards with a touchdown.
“They are tough runners and are doing a great job,” said head coach Phil Dorn about his duo. “Right now, we have two runners who can do the bulk of the work, but we also have a number of other runners who have yet to see some time.
“That’s a good thing for us.”
Dorn also noted the overall play of his defense that permitted 252 total yards, 232 on the ground. They forced three Northern Lehigh turnovers.
“I was satisfied the way we played on both sides of the ball, and we played significantly better on defense,” said Dorn. “We came up with some turnovers that turned into scores for us. (Clemons) totally stripped the ball from one of their runners and took off. Justis (Jourdain) stepped in front of one of their guys and took a pick six down the sideline.
“It was a huge improvement, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Quarterback Andrew Brett had another steady game, as he completed 19 of 29 passes for 233 yards with an interception.
For the season, Brett is 38 of 61 for 411 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Corey Raysley led the receivers with nine catches for 105 yards.
“I thought he had thrown the ball really well,” said Dorn. “He had a good second half against Salisbury, too. He has had his share of dropped balls. (Brett) has done a nice job running the ball.
“He has a very talented group of receivers and he can spread the ball around. We have been pretty balanced between the pass and the run so far and that’s what every coach is looking for.”
The Roughies literally have another much-needed game ahead when they travel to Pen Argyl Saturday to face the winless Green Knights (0-2), who have dropped games to Wilson (43-8) and Saucon Valley (57-14).
Senior running back Logan Sterner has provided the majority of the offense.
“We spoke to our kids after practice Monday and told them that they have to be ready because he (Sterner) is going to make plays,” said Dorn. “He runs hard and has tremendous speed. We will have our hands full, and we have to know where he is at all times.
“We can’t take them lightly. They trailed Saucon Valley, 22-14, at halftime last week.”
PREDICTION: The Roughies likely will have their hands full with Sterner, as stopping the run continues to be their weak point. Northern Lehigh averaged just over five yards a carry last week.
But the win over Northern Lehigh was a great confidence booster, especially on defense. Pen Argyl has had trouble stopping anyone and the Roughies should be able to keep their balanced offensive attack going. This could be a breakout game for Brett.
Pen Argyl always is a tough place to play. However, Roughies keep it going and raise their record to 2-1 with a 34-20 victory.