Kids continue streak
The 96th meeting between the Catasauqua Rough Riders and Northampton Konkrete Kids kicked off on a Thanksgiving Day featuring brilliant sunshine and frigid temperatures.
The Rough Riders entered the game following a 1-9 regular season, while Northampton sported a 7-4 record and their first district playoff appearance since 2003.
Roughs head coach Mike McClarin set the tone early by wearing shorts on a day where the temperature would not climb out of the 20s, and by calling for an onside kick on the opening kickoff. Ameer Jones dove on the loose ball to set Catty up at the Northampton 40.
Unfortunately, that would be the only Roughs’ highlight in the first quarter as the Konkrete Kids scored two touchdowns and a safety to make the score 14-0 after one quarter.
Northampton added another touchdown before Catty embarked on its first scoring drive. QB Andrew Martinez threw the key block to spring Wilquon Clemons on a 34-yard run that moved the ball deep into the red zone. Four plays later, Martinez swept around the left side for eight yards to get the Roughs on the board.
Some history was made on the PAT. Kicker Devon Troxell had been injured earlier in the game so backup kicker Haleigh Toto, a striker on the Catty girls’ soccer team, came on to take the kick. Although the kick was blocked, it is believed that Toto is the first female participant in the rivalry game and the first female to participate during a game for the Catty varsity football team.
Martinez was also responsible for the last touchdown of the game when he ran the ball in from 11 yards out. A Martinez pass to Adam Reinhart for two points provided the final points to make the score 49-14.
Martinez was named the Catasauqua MVP of the game. Northampton RB Tyrese Brandon earned the honor for his team.
Although the final score was not close, it wasn’t a reflection of how hard each Roughs’ player competed. They went toe-to-toe with players who were noticeably bigger and acquitted themselves admirably. McClarin was proud of his squad.
“I thought our kids just kept working. They played hard to the final whistle and that’s all I can ask for. We have to keep building this brotherhood. It’s going to take all of us, the whole community to make us the program that we can be.”
Northampton head coach Kyle Haas also noticed the effort put forth by the Rough Riders.
“We respect Catty. I thought it was a hard-fought game,” Haas said. “I thought Catty played well and my hat’s off to them and their coaches. They fought through the adversity of a tough season. Their kids really left it all out on the field.”
Next year, Catty will look to end a five-year losing streak to Northampton. The aggregate results in the history of the matchup now stand at 33 wins for Catasauqua, 59 wins for the Konkrete Kids, and 4 ties.
McClarin reflected on his first experience in the Catasauqua-Northampton rivalry.
“It’s a great rivalry to be a part of without a doubt,” he said. “I have so much respect for both communities and it’s a privilege for me to be a part of this.”