Catty falls to Tigers
The Northwestern Tigers came into Catasauqua for the season finale looking for a win to help their seeding in the District 11 playoffs. Meanwhile, the Rough Riders came in at 1-8 and were just playing for pride. Catasauqua came out strong and pulled a couple of wrinkles out of their playbook to take an early lead, but by the end of the night, Northwestern (8-2) wound up on top in a wild 61-27 game.
In the first 3:32 of the game, there were just eight plays from scrimmage, but 28 points as the two teams battled to a 14-14 tie at that point. It opened with Catasauqua’s Wilquon Clemens fumbling the opening kick return as he neared the 40-yard line and was hit hard by a Northwestern player. The Tigers recovered the ball and made quick work of their first drive when Deven Bollinger connected with Derek Holmes to give Northwestern an early 7-0 lead.
Unhappy with the results of his first return, Clemens atoned for the mistake and powered through a couple of would-be tacklers and then just outran the rest of the Northwestern kick-off team to go 85 yards to even the score.
Kick-offs were the story of the game early on as the Rough Riders kick-off brought more excitement. Kicker Deven Troxell bounced the ball to the left side of the field and Catasauqua won the battle for the ball to recover at the Tigers 49-yard line. From there, the Rough Riders weren’t messing around and on the second play of the drive, quarterback Andrew Martinez rushed 48 yards into the end zone and Catasauqua had a 14-7 lead.
Catasauqua looked to make the following kick-off just as exciting as their last one and Troxell again bounced a kick to the left side, but this time it was the Tigers who recovered the ball at the Roughies 44-yard line. Three plays later, Northwestern was in the end zone to tie the score.
Northwestern had stretched their lead to 28-14 by the end of the first quarter and scored first in the second quarter to make it 35-14. The Roughies weren’t quite finished though as they answered right back with a four-play, 66-yard drive that culminated with Martinez hitting Clemens on a beautiful 44-yard strike as the big play of the drive. On the next play, Martinez used his feet to cover 15 yards into the end zone to make it 35-21.
Bollinger wrapped up the second quarter with a 54-yard TD pass to Justin Rodda and a 47-yard TD pass to Paul Huff, who broke numerous tackles and dragged a defender into the end zone to put Northwestern up 55-21 at the half.
Josh Gornicz replaced Bollinger at quarterback in the second half and led Northwestern on a seven-play drive that ate up 3:26 of the third quarter. Gornicz, a senior, hit Rodda, who tip-toed just in front of the back line of the end zone for the touchdown.
Martinez finished the night with 115 yards rushing and Clemens finished with 49 yards on the ground for Catasauqua.