Roughs face test vs. K-Kids
On Thanksgiving morning at Northampton’s Al Erdosy Stadium, it will be 34 days since Catasauqua last played a football game, losing its season finale, 47-0, to Northwestern.
Rough Riders’ head coach Mike McClarin has taken a different approach with the layoff.
“We look at a second season this year,” said the second-year head coach, whose team has a 0-10- record this season. “We told the kids to put everything behind them from the first 10 weeks, and look at this as five weeks to prepare for a game.
“We’re pretty excited to have this time to prepare for this game against our rival.”
Catty will be seeking to break a five-game skid against Northampton, which holds an overall 59-33-4 advantage in the teams’ 97th annual meeting. The Roughies last won in 2013 when they posted a 43-38 victory to wrap up a memorable, 13-2 district championship run.
Northampton, which won 49-14, last season, last played on Nov. 1 when they dropped a 42-37 contest to Easton in a district Class 6A playoff game. The Kids (9-2) had a nine-game winning streak snapped in the process.
“They do a lot of things well,” said McClarin about his opponent. “They have had a very successful year and played well against Easton.
“They can throw a lot of different things at you. Like us, they have some young kids in their lineup, too.”
The Roughies will open with senior Adam Reinhart at quarterback, as there was some speculation that fellow senior Jacob Smith might get the nod and Reinhart would move out to wide receiver.
But Smith suffered a torn meniscus and will miss the game.
Reinhart, who battled Epstein Bar earlier this season, has thrown for 325 yards with a pair of touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Freshman Anthonie Hunsicker is the Roughies’ leading rusher with 199 yards, and senior Riley Reinhard has a team-high 10 catches for 177 yards and a pair of scores.
Reinhard will appreciate the last hurrah.
“I am super excited to play in this game,” boasted Reinhard. “I don’t want the season to come to an end, but it has to. I am happy this is the game I’ll be ending it with.
“I’ve always dreamed of playing in it when I was little. Now, I am living that dream. I know my teammates and I am going to be up for it. I can’t wait.”
McClarin also anticipates sophomore wide receiver/linebacker Donovan Keys playing a bigger role against Northampton.
“He (Keys) had a nice game against Northwestern,” said McClarin. “He has been very consistent and has come a long way.
“We can see him getting more involved on both offense and defense, and having a bright future.”
McClarin understands how much the game will mean for his seniors.
“This is their one game that they circle on their calendars,” said McClarin. “They all grew up with this and it is their big stage.
“It is very important for them to go out on top.”
PREDICTION: In all areas, this is a bad matchup for the Roughies. It will be surprising if Northampton misses a beat from their layoff. Catty will need to score early in order to keep this one close.
The Roughies have a promising freshmen class coming next season, and their current younger players should develop further next year as well …NORTHAMPTON, 52-7.