Roughies Run Roughshod over Bulldogs, Throw Monkey Wrench into District Playoffs
With a District XI playoff berth secured and some players banged up, Catasauqua First Year Head Coach Tom Falzone was just hoping to come out of their Colonial League match-up with Northern Lehigh with no more injuries.
What he left with was the biggest win of his short career as his Rough Riders upset the Bulldogs 21-7 Friday night in Slatington.
Catasauqua was fourth in the AA rankings and Northern Lehigh was first. In an ironic twist, number 2 North Schuylkill and number 3 Panther Valley also played each other Friday nite with North Schuylkill coming out on top in a 12-8 win.
“With all the injuries, we really haven’t gone live all year,” said Falzone. “We knew they were very physical so we decided that we would hit this week. I guess it paid off.”
It paid off with big dividends.
Catasauqua’s defense led by Curtis Garner and Nick Chernobyl held Northern Lehigh’s Cody Remaley in check. Remaley, already with over 1,300 yards for the season and poised to become the all-time single season rushing leader in Slatington gained 87 yards on 20 carries. The Rough Riders stopped three Bulldog drives inside their 20 yard line, recovering two fumbles and an interception by Chris Litzenberger.
“We knew they were going to be tough and that we had to play 4 quarters of football,” said Garner who along with Chernobyl each recovered a fumble and wrecked havoc in the Bulldog backfield. “We knew Northern Lehigh would not quit because they came back and beat Saucon Valley, who beat us,” he added.
Catasauqua (7-2 Colonial League and overall) put 2 touchdowns on the scoreboard toward the end of the first quarter and it appeared for awhile as if it was going to be a rout.
After Northern Lehigh (7-2 Colonial League and overall) had drove to the Rough Rider 6, Garner recovered his fumble and the Rough Riders drove the length of the field as Nick Falko caught a 6 yard pass from Brandon Lesko with 3:43 left in the first quarter. Tyler Miller kicked his first of three extra points for a 7-0 lead.
Catasauqua came right back on their next possession and scored with 11 seconds left in the quarter as Litzenberger took a screen pass from Lesko and raced 69 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead. Litzenberger finished the night with 5 catches for 138 yards. Lesko finished the night a very efficient 7-10 passing for 127 yards. He also ended as the leading rusher with 28 carries for 137 yards.
They then put the game away in the fourth quarter as Lesko scored on a two yard run.
Northern Lehigh was not about to quit however.
Joey Seremula caught an eight yard pass from Tyler Bolton with 1:49 left to make it a 21-7 lead and recovered the onsides kick. But Catasauqua took over on downs and ran out the clock. Seremula finished the game with 5 catches for 111 yards.
It is widely assumed that when the District Rankings come out on Monday that North Schuylkill will be the top seed with Catasauqua second, Northern Lehigh third and Panther Valley fourth. Catasauqua plays Northwestern at home next Friday while Northern Lehigh makes the 5 mile trip up Route 248 to play long time rival Palmerton. Newly crowned Anthracite Football League champion North Schuylkill travels to the Silver Bowl to take on Mount Carmel while Panther Valley play a AFL game against Minersville.
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