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Football notches first victory

Catasauqua head football coach Travis Brett had some relief late last Friday night. A few hours earlier, he wasn’t sure if his team could pick up their first win of the season.

“I didn’t know how we would come out,” said Brett after his team’s 23-0 victory over Mahanoy last week. “We did have a really good week of practice. We also felt we had a good defensive plan coming into the game.

“But the kids were pumped up before the game. We came out strong, and I thought we were in control of the game at halftime.”

Catty (1-3) broke a scoreless tie in the second quarter when running back Anthonie Hunsicker scored on a 1-yard plunge, and quarterback Christian Fye hit wide receiver Ian Juica on a 19-yard scoring strike. Mahanoy (3-1) brought an undefeated streak into the game.

The Rough Riders sealed the game when Dylan Pacheco fell on a blocked punt in the end zone during the third quarter. They will travel to play Pen Argyl (1-3) Saturday afternoon.

Brett praised Hunsicker’s play form his defensive line position, as he was the team’s leading tackler on the night and had three sacks. Catty’s defense limited Mahanoy’s effective running game to 10 yards and 99 total yards. Brett credited the play of Jacob Ramos on the defensive front, as Miles Melendez missed the game due to a sickness.

“We shut down their running game,” noted Brett. “Hunsicker was a force out there. He is a big key to our defense. He helps us bring pressure up front. Jacob Ramos had a big game with an interception, and he played well.”

Brett cited the play of guards William Bear and Davante Boulware, as they shared Melendez’s spot.

He also mentioned the contributions of linebackers Aiden Hess and Chad Beller for the steady play.

The third-year head coach stated the offensive game plan for Fye was to be a little more conservative.

“We wanted to change things up,” said Brett. “We gave Fye just two receiver options, and we kept our tight end in to block. (Fye) ran pretty well, and he had more confidence out there. They stayed in a over 3 defense and didn’t change anything.

“We didn’t have any bad snaps, penalties, or mistakes that hurt us. We spent some more time working on our special teams.”

Brett has a better feeling heading to Pen Argyl, who is coming off a 48-0 loss to Northwestern last week. However, he isn’t jumping to any conclusions.

“From what we saw on film, we feel pretty confident about his game and our next one,” added Brett. “They have some weapons, and it is always tough to play there. It is also their senior day, so they will be ready.

“We just have to take one game at a time.”

NOTES AND PREDICTION: Pen Argyl has lost three games in a row since their opening game victory over Wilson ... Quarterback Brad Rissmiller has 688 yards passing and receiver Damian Tyminski is his prime target with 392 yards ... Roughies finally returned home after three road games ... Jyzaiah Bonilla had a game-high 69 rushing yards on 20 carries. He has 309 yards for the season. Fye went 6-for-11 for 63 yards ... Roughies also traveled to Pen Argyl last year and posted a 42-15 victory ... Roughies’ locker room also got a lift before the game when JD Martinez, who broke his leg last week, made an appearance ... Xavier Rosario is lost for the year with a knee injury ... Catty will host Schuylkill Haven next week, and the Hurricanes began the weekend 1-3 ... Roughies can start to build momentum here, and can’t afford to miss an opportunity. Seniors Hunsicker and Fye are still the keys, but the younger players have responded well. Roughies began the season on a roll last year before they began to fizzle. Looks like they are ready to begin one here. Dave Troxell will owe me some hot dogs from Jimmy’s, and Eric Snyder needs to find more classic games from our childhood ... ROUGHIES, 31-6.

Press photos by Al Zuzic Javier Sobrado brings down the Mahanoy Area quarterback during last week's home game victory for the Rough Riders.
Jyzaiah Bonilla finds open space for Catty.