Roughies find ground game in a loss NDGP
For the Catasauqua football team, it wasn’t gaining the yardage, but it was ending with it.
The Roughies ran for 199 yards on the ground in their recent game against Notre Dame, but they couldn’t find the end zone in an eventual 42-0 loss to the Crusaders at Alumni Field.
Their defeat kept them winless (0-8) on the season.
“They finished their drives and we had ours ended with penalties and fumbles,” said Roughies ‘ head coach Mike McClarin. “We shot ourselves in the foot.
“They were a very big and athletic team and made some holes.”
McClarin did acknowledge the efforts of running backs freshman Anthonie Hunsicker and sophomore Elijah Soler for their performances. Hunsicker rushed for a game-high 115 yards on 13 carries and Solar added 46 on eight carries.
“They are both doing a great job,” said McClarin of his duo. “They both start on defense and have been splitting time on offense. They keep getting better and more confident. They are learning how to handle everything.”
He also noted the play of senior lineman and captain Baily Witt as well as fellow senior Riley Reinhard.
“Bailey (Witt) has been bringing it every day,” added McClarin. “He has been doing a good job and has been taking a leadership role. All of the seniors have been doing better with that aspect.
“Riley (Reinhard) also has been working hard and brings a good attitude. He definitely has grown into a better player.”
Reinhard doesn’t see his team losing its composure.
“I see this team as a brotherhood all around,” he said. “We have some great players on this team and we can do some great things. Sometimes, we just can’t finish our drives, but we have moved the ball well.
“We made progress from the beginning of the year and we need to keep building. Our line blocked great and held their ground against Notre Dame. We skill players just need to punch it through and rive our feet.”
McClarin also has been pleased with the growth of wide receivers Brandon Jenny and Derek George.
“Both Jenny and George basically are playing their first year of varsity football,” said McClarin. “They both have been very coachable and will continue to get better.”
McClarin confirmed the Roughies had a combined seven sophomores and freshmen on both sides of the ball against Notre Dame.
“That’s great for the future of the program,” said McClarin about the team’s youth. “But we are seeing progress and more discipline on the field. The kids are better prepared and learning how to work together.”
The Roughies have stiff challenges ahead to end their regular season with Southern Lehigh and Northwestern before their annual Thanksgiving Day tussle with Northampton.
“Sure, we want to win, but it is about growth and progress,” said McClarin. “We are seeing more positives on the field.”