Saturday, September 16, 2023

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Mahanoy Area Struggles Against Catasauqua Rough Riders

Mahanoy Area struggled Friday night against the visiting Catasauqua Rough Riders.

The game kicked off with Mahanoy Area's Colm McGroarty bulldozing his way into the end zone with a 1-yard touchdown run. The Golden Bears didn't stop there, successfully converting for two points, setting the score at 8-0 with 7:29 left in the opening quarter.

As the first quarter came to a close, Mahanoy Area held onto their 8-0 lead, but they were about to face a fierce resurgence from the Rough Riders.

Catasauqua's quarterback, Aiden Hess, ignited his team's offensive charge with a 7-yard scoring run, narrowing the lead. The first half concluded with Mahanoy Area still ahead at 8-6.

In the 3rd, Hunter Reitz powered through for a 4-yard touchdown run, and a successful pass from Hess to Dylan Pacheco for a 2-point conversion saw the Rough Riders taking the lead at 14-8 with 4:03 left in the quarter.

The third quarter ended with the Rough Riders maintaining their lead at 14-8, but they were far from finished.

In the fourth quarter, the Rough Riders continued their assault on the Golden Bears' defense. Jyzaiah Bonilla dashed for an 8-yard touchdown, followed by a successful two-point conversion pass from Hess to Ian Juica, extending the Rough Riders' lead to 22-8 with 11:17 left in the game.

Catasauqua's Jordan Bradshaw added to the misery for Mahanoy Area with a 16-yard touchdown run, sealing the deal at 28-8 with just 4:59 remaining on the clock.

Not content with their lead, the Rough Riders pushed the envelope even further. Chad Beller rumbled his way into the end zone with a 10-yard touchdown run, and Jayden Olivencia nailed the extra point with 3:34 left in the game, extending the lead to an insurmountable 35-8.

Mahanoy Area's Owen Ogrodnick managed to salvage some pride for his team with an 8-yard touchdown run, but it was too little, too late.

The final whistle blew with the scoreline reading 35-14 in favor of the Catasauqua Rough Riders, securing their victory.

This victory improved Catasauqua's record to an impressive 3-1 for the season, while Mahanoy Area fell to 1-3. The Golden Bears will be looking to bounce back when they travel to face Riverside next Friday.

Story and Photos by J. Reed