Football looks for a win at Palmerton
Injuries and illnesses have plagued the Rough Riders football season throughout the year, and they definitely have plodded the progress of a young football team.
In their recent 34-0 loss to Salisbury, the Roughies (0-6) were missing three starting lineman and a receiver.
“We have had guys on the line nicked up all year,” said head coach Mike McClarin. “It has given us a chance to play freshmen and sophomores who wouldn’t have had playing time.
“We can’t get any continuity up front. It has been a learning experience for them, but also is frustrating. We will have our line totally healthy this week.”
Starting quarterback Adam Reinhart returned to the lineup after a bout with mono. He completed two of nine passes for 29 yards, but he was touched for three interceptions. Jacob Smith, who started last week, also saw time.
“Adam (Reinhart) did some good things out there, but he struggled a bit also being back,” said McClarin. “He doesn’t have his timing fully back. He’ll adjust quickly back into the lineup.
“Jacob Smith is such a great kid. He’ll do anything we ask of him. He saw some action at receiver. He also ran the ball for us and did a good job on defense.”
Jakeem Jourdain had another good day on returns, and he also rushed for a team-high 40 yards. Jourdain has rushed for 155 yards on the season.
“He (Jourdain) can do a lot for us,” added McClarin. “He really has been effective on returns this year, and has the speed to get outside and inside quickly.”
Elijah Soler added 30 yards on the ground.
“He (Soler) really runs the ball hard,” said McClarin. “He has been very consistent for us on both offense and defense. He has had a good season.”
McClarin also noted the play of Derek George, who is in his first season.
“He has a good game on offense and defense,” said McClarin about George. “He has been working to get better. He should have a good finish to his season.”
Despite his team’s record, McClarin has been pleased with his team’s showing overall.
“We did a better job in the second half against Salisbury,” said McClarin. “We need to cut down on our turnovers and extend out drives. We have seen a lot of individual progress.”
The Roughies will travel to Palmerton Friday night in search of their first win against a reeling team. The Blue Bombers are coming off a 42-7 loss to Northwestern and have dropped five straight games since their opening–night 47-6 victory over Palisades.
“They (Palmerton) have a lot of good athletes,” said McClarin. “They have been struggling, but we can’t take anything for granted. We have to come out with our best effort and avoid shooting ourselves in the foot.
“We’re still positive and we have to play hard.”
PREDICTION: Palmerton can be a tough place to play. The Roughies are relatively healthy up front, and they will need to get their running game going and feed off a solid second half against Salisbury last week. Once again, it will come down to them stopping other teams, as they have allowed nearly 44 points and 195 yards rushing per game. Catty has played some good halves, but they can’t piece a whole game together. It will be close, and Catty will get it together for their first win…ROUGHIES 14-12.