Roughs set to take on Palmerton
Catasauqua is hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.
The Roughies will enter the final three weeks of the regular football season still having district playoff hopes alive. They were in a similar situation last year needing at least one win over either Palmerton, Southern Lehigh, or Northwestern to grab a spot.
They lost to Palmerton and Southern Lehigh and still had a chance with a win over Northwestern at home. However, that game ended in a 48-20 defeat.
Now, the Roughies have another opportunity with the same situation facing them. In fact, it looms a must win.
They will travel to Palmerton (4-3) Friday night, facing a team that has the top spot in the District 11 Class 2A bracket. Catty, which has a 2-5 record and has lost four straight, is sitting in fifth position, a game behind Schuylkill Haven, Panther Valley, and Mahanoy Area, all of whom are 3-4. The top four teams will make the playoffs.
The Blue Bombers (4-3) are in the midst of a two-game losing streak after a feverish 4-1 start that left them in contention for the Colonial League title. Since then, they have dropped games to Notre Dame (28-14) and Palisades (62-6).
In the loss to Palisades, quarterback Tekoah Guedes had three of his first four passes intercepted, one returned for a touchdown. Over the past two games, Guedes has thrown seven interceptions.
Guedes has thrown for more than 1,000 yards this season with seven touchdowns, as the Blue Bombers have averaged 180 yards passing per game. His primary targets will be Jordan Nelson and Andrew Sabo, both of whom have caught over 20 passes. Guedes also is the Blue Bombers’ primary running threat as he has rushed for nearly 500 yards.
The Roughies allowed a season-high 362 yards passing in their recent 60-28 loss to Notre Dame in which quarterback Cole De Franco threw four touchdowns passes. Still, the Roughies have been stingy with their pass defense allowing just under 115 yards per game this season.
Catty did allow 186 yards rushing and four rushing touchdowns against Notre Dame. That has been their Achilles heel on defense, as teams have averaged 274 rushing yards per game against them.
Catty enters the game off a strong performance from quarterback Andrew Brett, who completed 16 of 21 passes for a season-high 302 yards and three touchdowns. For the season, Brett has completed 107 of 165 passes for 1,219 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions.
The Roughies also received another consistent effort on the ground, as Derrick Rodriguez ran for 113 yards and a touchdown and Wil-Quon Clemons added 89 yards. For the year, Clemons has a team-high 671 yards with seven touchdowns and Rodriguez has 545 yards with five scores.
Catty then will face Southern Lehigh, which enters this weekend with one loss (6-1), for its final home game next week before they end the regular season at Northwestern (3-4), which has been on a resurgence after a slow start.
PREDICTION: The Roughies were impressive on offense last week as they matched numbers with Notre Dame, but they couldn’t stop the Crusaders. It has been a rough four weeks and a trip to Palmerton won’t make it any easier. The Blue Bombers also need the game to stay in the district hunt, and return home after two tough weeks on the road looks like the perfect remedy - Palmerton, 35-21.