Entering the final game of the season, Northwestern head coach Josh Snyder had to prepare his team for Catasauqua, who had clinched the Colonial League title outright last week.
Hurricane Sandy didn't help make things any easier for the Tigers' coaching staff to put together a game plan to slow down the Roughies, who were determined to finish the season with an unblemished record.
Catasauqua was on a mission for a perfect 10-0 mark and were able to fulfull it with a commanding 57-3 victory.
"With the natural disaster that came through, we only had two days of practice," Snyder said. "So, when you face the best team in the league on a short week, that's a tough task. We have a bulk load of freshmen and sophomores, but their coaches did a nice job of picking on us a little bit.
"They have great skilled guys and they knew where to go. Their quarterback (Zack Bradley) and guys did a fine job of finding our weaknesses and executing their plays."
The short week came back to haunt the Tigers on "Senior Night". Catasauqua took charge right away and didn't give up until it initiated the Mercy rule thanks to scoring on all eight of their first-half possessions.
In fact, it was those first three successful first half touchdowns Snyder felt hurt his young program.
After the Tigers coughed up the first of three fumbles on their own 13-yard line, Ra'Von Burton took his second carry into the endzone before fumbling it. Alex Parker jumped on the ball before any Tiger defenders could get to it for the first TD only 49 seconds into the game.
The next two possessions, the Tigers held the Roughies for three downs before they capitalized on fourth down. Roughies' Zack Bradley hit Parker for a 10-yard reception (with 5:45 left) and then hit Paryss Marshall for the first of two receptions for a 34-yard touchdown (with 2:03 left).
"I thought we did a decent job stopping the run in the first quarter, but when you got athletes like that and talent like that - to dig themselves out of a ditch like that is hard," Snyder said. "Right there was 21 points before we could even blink."
The second quarter was no better for the Tigers as they fumbled the ball on their next two possessions and went three-and-out on their last.
Meanwhile, the Roughies took advantage of the short field started on NW 36, 33 and 45 yard lines. Bradley hit Marshall for a 13-yard touchdown and then Eric Matz ran in the next two. The first was a one-yard plunge and then he broke free for a 30-yard TD scamper.
However, Parker went untouched on a Tigers' 28 yard punt to give the visitors a 57-0 lead at half.
"All year we have been struggling to get the ball and put drives together, and being in sync on offense," Snyder said. "We just have been devastated by injuries. We had five or six linemen that started games for us out of the lineup - that's tough to see.
"Yet, it was a good learning experience for the younger guys to gain the experience. It was something to build on for the future."