Catasauqua Press

Monday, December 11, 2017
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Catty will face tough task against Notre Dame GP

Thursday, October 5, 2017 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

With four league games left in their season, Catasauqua has reached its breaking point.

They will host Notre Dame Friday night at Alumni Field seeking to break a three-game losing streak, one that could easily turn the tide of their season. The latest being a crushing 28-21 loss at Wilson last week.

The Roughies have an overall 2-4 mark and find themselves in the sixth and final spot of the PIAA District 11 Class 2A power rankings. It is likely that the top four teams will make the postseason, and the Roughies likely would need at least two wins to be considered for a spot.

They will face a Notre Dame squad that has an overall 4-2 mark and has convincingly won their last three contests. The Crusaders potentially got themselves back into league contention and further solidified their spot in the Class 3A bracket when they won, 28-14, at Palmerton last week. Over their recent span, Notre Dame has outscored their opponents, 117-38.

The Crusaders will be led by junior quarterback Cole DeFranco, who has thrown for more than 1,700 yards with 13 touchdowns. They also have maintained a running game from last year’s district championship team with Gerald Grube leading the way with nearly 600 yards.

The recent resurgence of Notre Dame’s offense could pose a problem for Catasauqua. The Roughies have been hurt by the run all season, as they allowed 389 rushing yards against Wilson last week.

For the year, Catty has allowed an average of 289 rushing yards per game, but they have been stingy through the air allowing less than 74 yards per game. Wilson’s Job Goodman rushed for 240 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns, and Clark added 152 yards rushing with a pair of scores.

The Roughies again will be led by the backfield tandem of Wil-Quon Clemons (582 yards) and Derrick Rodriguez (432), as they have combined for 1,014 yards with 11 touchdowns. Overall, the Roughies have rushed for 1,160 yards and scored 13 touchdowns on the ground.

Quarterback Andrew Brett has thrown for nearly 1,000 yards this season, but he only has three touchdown passes.

“Derrick Rodriguez and I know we can run even better,” said Clemons. “We just have to focus more and work harder.”

After Notre Dame, the schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Roughies. They will travel to Palmerton next Friday, come back home for Southern Lehigh, and then end the regular season at Northwestern.

“We know we have some quality opponents coming up,” said Brett. “We know we are in for a dogfight down the stretch and it is going to be exciting.”

PREDICTION: The Roughies let a much-needed victory slip away at Wilson. They desperately needed to stay in the hunt for a district spot. On a positive note, they rebounded offensively and had a bend-but-not break defensive effort against the Warriors. This final stretch won’t be easy with playoff contenders Palmerton and Southern Lehigh as well as a rejuvenated Northwestern team ahead.

The Roughies keep it relatively close … Notre Dame, 28-17.