Roughies down PV
Wyatt Younes has been Catasauqua’s big play receiver all year.
That didn’t change Friday night against Panther Valley.
Aiden Hess had barely seen the field for the Rough Riders.
That definitely changed against the Panthers.
Younes caught two long touchdown passes and returned a kick for another score, while Hess replaced the injured Christian Fye at quarterback and threw for three scores.
The 1-2 punch provided plenty of firepower as Catty remained undefeated with a 32-6 victory over the Panthers.
“Wyatt’s our track guy and our big play threat,” said Catasauqua coach Travis Brett. “He got over the top of their defense a couple of times and made some big catches.”
Younes entered the game with just four receptions on the season, but they produced three touchdowns and an average of 39 yards per catch. Last night, he added to those numbers with seven catches for 117 yards and touchdowns of 32 and 38 yards.
With Fye out of the lineup with an injury, Hess was making his first start - and the freshman didn’t disappoint. He completed 14 of 19 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns.
“We had hoped to run the ball a little more coming into the game, but we struggled on the ground against their defense,” said Brett. “So we had to turn to our passing attack.
“Aiden’s got a strong arm and he’s a smart kid. We had confidence that he could do the job if we needed to throw it - and he showed why. I thought he played very well.”
Despite Catasauqua dominating the game statistically in the opening half, it was clinging to a 7-0 lead late in the half.
“I thought we did some nice things tonight,” said Panther Valley coach Rick Jones. “I thought we were extremely physical and our defense was doing a nice job of keeping us in the game in the first half, but the last couple minutes really hurt us.”
Jones was referring to a pair of Catty scores in the span of just 27 seconds late in the second quarter.
Hess hit Younes with a 32-yard pass for a touchdown with just 1:09 left in the half. Panther Valley then fumbled on the first play from scrimmage following the score and the Rough Riders recovered at the PV 38-yard line. It took just one play for Hess to hit a streaking Younes down the left sideline for a back-breaking score.
“I definitely thought that was the key stretch of the game,” said Brett. “I thought we were in control during the first half because our defense was playing extremely well. But it was a one-score game until Aiden and Wyatt made those two big plays to break it open.”
The big plays continued as Younes returned the second half kickoff 80 yards for a score to make it 26-0.
Catty got a 4-yard shuffle pass from Hess to Jacob Scheier midway through the third quarter to make it 32-0.
The Panthers finished strong as they dominated the final quarter and a half. A Mike Pascoe 2-yard TD pass to Shyiem Ervine with 6:38 to play ended the Catasauqua shutout bid.
“I definitely see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Jones. “We got a couple more kids back this week and I think that helped us defensively. We’re still not quite there offensively. We need to be more efficient. I thought we had some opportunities that we just didn’t take advantage of.
“Defensively, we are young in the secondary and had some breakdowns that hurt us. But overall, it was a step in the right direction.”
BLINK OF AN EYE ... Catasauqua scored three touchdowns in the span of just 1:19 to turn a tight 7-0 game into a comfortable 26-0 cushion.
TACKLING MACHINE ... Panther Valley linebacker Austin Hadley was all over the field. Although no official stats were available immediately after the game, several onlookers in the press box were guessing that his tackle total was close to 20. Although Catasauqua only ran 43 plays from scrimmage - and five of them were incomplete passes and four others were touchdowns - that number might even be a little conservative.
SECOND STRING STAR ... The Panthers’ Aiden Kreimendahl didn’t touch the ball until the final drive of the night, but he produced 55 yards on just four carries to lead PV in rushing.
FILLING IN ... Brett said five Catasauqua starters missed the game with injuries.