Catasauqua Press

Sunday, October 22, 2017
Brett Copyright -                                                       Brett Copyright -
Press photo by Alan ZuzicMiguel Hernandez tries to fight through two Pen Argyl players during Catty’s victory last Saturday on the road. Copyright -                                                       Press photo by Alan ZuzicMiguel Hernandez tries to fight through two Pen Argyl players during Catty’s victory last Saturday on the road. Copyright -

Catasauqua tops PA with Saucon Vy. looming

Thursday, September 14, 2017 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

Defense.

These days, it is the new mantra around the Catasauqua football program.

The Roughies’ recent stout defensive effort has produced two impressive wins over Northern Lehigh and Pen Argyl. In the latter, Catty also had their character and mettle tested in a last-minute, 17-14 victory over the Green Knights.

With 57 second left in the game, Devon Troxell booted a 28-yard field goal to lift the Roughies to victory. The win gave the Roughies an overall 2-1 record, as they recorded consecutive road victories for the first time since the 2013 season.

It also provided them with a key emotional boost for their upcoming game against Saucon Valley Friday night at Alumni Field.

“I felt pretty confident approaching the kick,” said Troxell. “This was a huge win for us. It was a tight game, but we knew we could pull it out.”

Troxell’s kick was set up by Wil-Quon Clemons’ 25-yard burst. Clemons had another productive day as he rushed for 129 yards on 22 carries. Backfield mate Derrick Rodriguez added 68 yards and scored a touchdown.

Just prior, Tyler Melendez recorded a key turnover when he broke through on a blitz and forced and recovered a fumble on the 50-yard line.

Earlier in the game, Miguel Hernandez took back a pick six 29 yards, marking the second consecutive week the Roughies have returned an interception for a touchdown. Catty also held running back Logan Sterner in tow despite running for 178 yards and scoring a touchdown.

“We have been getting better each week on defense,” said Melendez, who is a senior. “We didn’t let Sterner break a big play on us. We just go out and try to put 11 helmets to the ball. It is a matter of all of us moving toward the play.

Melendez, who was part of the lean years the past three seasons, sees a different attitude and approach.

“It definitely was frustrating,” said Melendez of the previous three seasons in which the Roughies won a total of six games. “This year has been different. The attitude and work ethic is great. We are really playing as a team.

“We will be ready for Saucon Valley. We have a lot of confidence in ourselves.”

The Roughies will welcome the Panthers (2-1), who are coming off a stunning, 29-28 loss to Palmerton last week. Palmerton scored 15 second-half points and held off Saucon Valley down the stretch.

The Panthers opened the season with lopsided wins over Pen Argyl (57-14) and Bangor (43-13), and they are still considered to be in the running for the Colonial League crown.

Running back Zach Petiet, who ran for 116 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns against Palmerton, will be another challenge for the Roughies’ defense, which has battled to stop the run all season. Petiet has rushed for 380 yards for the year.

Along with Petiet, quarterback Alstan Wolfe, who threw for 167 yards with a touchdown, can also run the ball well. He rushed for 103 yards against Palmerton.

“Saucon Valley will be a big test for us,” added Troxell. “We have come a long way and we’re all working hard. We can continue to become a better team.”

PREDICTION: The Roughies arguably have tightened a once-porous defense that allowed more than 40 points a game last season. However, they beat two opponents, both of which have yet to win a game. The offense has been running the ball well, but they haven’t had a big game from their passing attack.

Saucon Valley will be a hungry team after they were shocked by a rising Palmerton team. Catty faces another tough runner in Petiet. Like Logan Sterner last week, they will need to keep him from making big plays.

Catty will battle to keep it close and they can’t afford a slow start … Saucon Valley 31-24.