Will Falcons be trap game?
In football circles, Catasauqua will be playing a possible "trap" game this weekend.
The high-riding Roughies who have easily disposed of their first three opponents notably outscoring them by a 126-14 margin will travel down to the southside of Allentown Friday night to tangle with Salisbury, which will bring an overall 1-2 record into the contest.
By most accounts, the Roughies will loom as likely favorites against Salisbury and the following week against Saucon Valley, which will enter this week with an overall 0-3 mark.
After the two clubs with a combined one win, Catty arguably will embark on its toughest stretch of the season when they will meet Bangor and Pen Argyl in consecutive weeks with a clash against Northern Lehigh two weeks later. All three clubs entered week four of the season undefeated.
Yet, this is now and that will be then. Catty head coach Tom Falzone is working to instill a present-day philosophy to avoid any "traps" along the way.
"It would be easy for us to look pat Salisbury based on their record," he reflected. "But I believe these guys recognize where we are and know we can't take anything for granted. Salisbury has a new coach and new life there.
"They picked up a big win for them last week (a 13-7 victory over Palmerton) and we would have rather faced them without that situation. Now, they will be really fired up for us and they have us at home."
Salisbury began the season with an 20-7 loss to Bangor and then were blanked 23-0 by Northwestern. First-year head coach Andy Cerco will look to generate more offense against the Roughies with quarterback Derek Brown and running backs Teddy Denver and Mason Kressley, who also is their leading receiver through three games. In their lone win, Salisbury generated 207 yards of total offense.
Conversely, Catasauqua has allowed an average on 254 yards defensively through its first three games. Zach Stopay, Eric Matz, Rhaine Sziy, and Jared Nosal lead the team with 20 tackles respectively through the first three games with Donald Hunter and Jimmy Deily each registering 19 apiece. Overall, 13 Roughies have 10 tackles or more through the first three games.
Offensively, the Roughies are led on the ground by Ra'Von Burton, who has 405 total yards with seven touchdowns followed by Eric Matz, who has rushed for 180 yards.
Quarterback Zack Bradley has completed 22 of 45 attempts for 425 yards and a sterling seven touchdowns with just one interception. Paryss Marshall leads the Roughies with 10 catches for 197 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Alex Parker has five catches for 103 yards and three touchdowns and Jacob Stopay has five receptions for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
It has been the balanced attack Falzone envisioned since the summer.
"We have balance and that's what we need," he stated. "We are getting balanced efforts on both sides of the ball. This is what we need to maintain throughout the rest of the season."
Falzone has also recognized the changing of the seasons on the gridiron where the contenders have begun to separate themselves from the pretenders with his club being right in the thick of things.
"Teams in the (Colonial) league have begun to separate themselves," he said. "We're at that point now with ourselves, Bangor, Pen Argyl, and Northern Lehigh. In the next few weeks, the gap will likely get wider.
"We just have to take one game at a time and do what we need to do against Salisbury."
NOTES: Burton left the game in the fourth quarter against Palisades because he had trouble breathing regularly. Falzone attributed the problem as an asthma-related issue and expects him to be back at his regular game speed against Salisbury … Through the first three games, Catty has avoided any major injuries. Sophomore Devin Flores was hobbling with an ankle injury, but he is expected to be in uniform Friday night.