CATASAUQUA - Josh Snyder had part of his memory erased Friday night in Catasauqua. The Northwestern coach has had bad memories of a Tigers' 3-0 loss in four overtimes to the Rough Riders in 1997 when he was a player. Now that memory is gone thanks to Northwestern's 28-27 win over Catasauqua in OT last night.
"The rivalry between our two teams isn't that long, but we've played some big games. In '97, we were here to play for a piece of the Colonial League title in my senior year ... and we lost in quadruple overtime," said Snyder. "I was sort of having flashbacks when we went into overtime, but as I told the team, my memories of overtime in Catasauqua now are of this game."
Both teams came in with a lot on the line. Catasauqua (9-1) was looking to complete their season undefeated, while Northwestern needed a win to have any chance at making the District 11 playoffs. The win puts the Tigers at 7-3 on the season and they'll have to wait until the numbers are crunched to determine if they have a strong enough power ranking to reach districts.
"We did what we had to do to beat a very good Catty team that hadn't lost in 20 straight league games and I'm proud of my guys. We flipped our record from 3-7 to 7-3, which was one of our goals. Our senior leadership has taken our program to a new level and that's what they wanted to do was start a new legacy," said Snyder.
It looked like Catasauqua would reach the scoreboard first when Ra'Von Burton, seeing his first action since having his appendix removed over two weeks ago, ran 19 yards on his first carry to put the Roughies at the NW 42. From there, the Tigers defense started to click and forced a punt giving NW the ball at their own 30.
From there, the Tigers put together one of their more methodical drives of the season, mixing runners and getting a key pass completion from Frank Dangello to Alex Bobbyn to keep the drive alive. Overall, the drive took 7:29 off the clock and was capped by Dangello pushing across the goal line from a yard out to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
Burton took the handoff on the first play of Catasauqua's next drive and sprinted 85 yards to the end zone to tie the game.
After the teams exchanged possessions, Harry Hall turned Northwestern's next possession into a one-play drive when he ran straight through the Catasauqua line for 64 yards and a touchdown putting the Tigers up 14-7. Hall finished the night with 210 yards rushing on 38 carries.
The key to the win for Northwestern was ball control and it showed when they took the second half kickoff and didn't let the Catasauqua offense on the field until 49 seconds into the fourth quarter. The 20-play, 76-yard drive ate up 12:49 and put the Tigers up 21-7. Hall capped the drive with a six-yard run into the end zone.
"To spend an entire quarter marching down the field, you just have to give it to our kids, because they battled on every play," said Snyder.
From there though, it was all Roughies in the fourth quarter. They scored 14 points over the final seven minutes to send the game into overtime.
Catasauqua got the ball first and took the ball quickly into the end zone, but came up short going for the two-point conversion. Northwestern used all four of their allotted plays, but pushed the ball into the end zone and then called on Brandon Miller to nail the point-after, giving the Tigers the 28-27 win.
"It was just another kick and I hit it right down the middle," said Miller.