Catty roughs up No. Lehigh
Northern Lehigh is often the site of Smash Mouth football.
And more times than not, the Bulldogs are the team delivering the punishment.
On Friday night, however, visiting Catasauqua gave Joe Tout's squad a dose of their own medicine.
The Roughies dominated in the trenches on both sides of the ball and powered their way to a 21-7 Colonial League victory.
"They kicked our butt," said Tout, whose team dropped to 7-2. "We were flat, we weren't focused. Give Catasauqua credit, their kids were hungry tonight. They laid one on us.
"We also had a lot of fumbles ... The field was muddy but it didn't look like it for them. They were ready to play and they dominated us up front. They had a good game plan and they outcoached us. We need to get better. It wasn't a real good effort."
Catty's game plan was rather simple on offense and defense.
Offensively, the Roughies put the ball in the hands of their tough-nosed quarterback Brandon Lesko and let him do damage with his legs and his arm. Defensively, they focused on the obvious shutting down Nolehi's ground attack.
"Northern Lehigh is solid all the way through, the way they run and we know how physical they play," said Catasauqua mentor Tom Falzone. "We tried all week to simulate that as best we could ... and it ended up working. Our kids played with a lot of heart.
"We said we had to contain (Cody) Remaley. He's such a good back. And our guys were able to do that."
Remaley, who entered the contest with over 1,300 yards rushing, was held to just 69 on 19 carries with his longest gain being only 10 yards.
Without his production, the Bulldogs could never get going.
"We knew they had the best running game in the league and we knew it was coming," said Roughie defensive end Curtis Garner. "They play smash mouth football. They run at you until they get a touchdown.
"Our coaches told us this is what they're going to do and we have to stop it. All week we were physical and that's what did it for us."
While Nolehi couldn't generate any momentum, Lesko was doing everything for Catty.
The Bulldogs opened the game with a gadget play as Jake Kern took a lateral and completed a 59-yard pass to Joey Seremula to give the hosts a first-and-goal. But two plays later, Nolehi coughed the ball up.
Lesko took over and led his team 94 yards on 12 plays for the game's opening score. The 6-3, 210-pounder, who operated out of the shotgun, bulled his way for 54 yards and completed the long march with a six-yard touchdown toss to Nathan Falko.
"On our first offensive drive, we blew them off the ball," said Garner. "I was excited and I thought this is some good stuff we're doing right now."
Catty fans were just as excited a few minutes later as their team's next possession also resulted in a score. Lesko, who finished with 135 yards rushing and 154 yards passing, threw an out to Chris Litzenberger and the speedy receiver broke free down the sidelines for a 69-yard TD and a 14-0 lead.
"He (Lesko) is a fullback playing quarterback," said Tout. "They use a lot of misdirection. They fake it, he keeps it, he gives it. We had to be gap responsible and a lot of times we weren't. And we also missed tackles. He's a tough runner.
"With our turnovers and for as bad as we played, we felt fortunate to be down just 14-0."
Unfortunately for the hosts, a second-half comeback wasn't meant to be. In fact, the Bulldogs didn't enter Catty territory until after the Roughies had pushed the margin to 21-0 on a two-yard Lesko tally.
Nolehi did avoid the shutout with 1:49 left to play when Tyler Bolton found Seremula for an eight-yard scoring toss.