Falcons dispose of Roughies
Even after Salisbury’s statement win over Northern Lehigh nearly two weeks ago, there were rumblings of a possible trap game last week. A potential letdown seemed to be the topic of conversation heading into Friday’s game against a Catasauqua team that won just one game.
But the Falcons quickly disposed of those talks early and with an emphatic showing.
Salisbury (5-3) exploded to score 42 points in the first 14:08 that set the tone for the remainder of the game. The Falcons led 49-6 at halftime after Catasauqua (1-7) got on the scoreboard in the second quarter, and Salisbury strengthened its bid for a district playoff spot with their 56-27 win at the Rough Riders’ Memorial Field.
“When we had the big win against Northern Lehigh, immediately I had so many people saying, obviously they watch ESPN and Mike and Mike in the Morning and all that, and they talk about trap games,” head coach Andy Cerco said. “Our whole thing is we just focus on the next opponent and we worry about the next opponent. We watch film and look for us to get better.”
The Falcons (.551) are the No. 3 ranked team in the District 11 Class AA power rankings, behind Notre Dame (.741) and Northwestern (.639).
Other than the final possession of the first half, one in which the clock ran out in Catasauqua territory, Salisbury scored on every possession over the first two quarters. It started with a 43-yard touchdown run from Alex Kubinec on the Falcons’ second offensive play from scrimmage.
“The play before there was a penalty, so I got to see where everyone was going to be,” Kubinec said. “It was the blocking honestly. The linemen got it done. Dante Martinez is in there now. He stepped up to the plate and made some nice blocks.”
The subsequent Rough Rider drive lasted just six downs, resulting in a Catasauqua punt in its own territory. Devin Irwin, who hadn’t returned a punt for a touchdown yet this season, checked that off his bucket list with a 60-yard return that put Salisbury ahead 14-0.
On the next play, Catasauqua quarterback Christian Burker threw an interception to CJ Wittman, who returned it 32 yards to the end zone for a commanding 21-0 advantage.
“I just undercut the ball,” Wittman said. “I had a great set of blocks and took it to the house.”
The offense continued to roll. After Salisbury’s Tyler Thomas picked off another Burker pass, quarterback Tevon Weber capped an eight-play drive with a 3-yard touchdown to wideout Mason Donaldson just before the end of the quarter.
Weber’s next two passes were touchdowns as well, the first to Irwin that put the Falcons in front 35-0 early in the second quarter. Just over a minute later after another Burker interception, Weber hit Donaldson for another score and a 42-0 lead.
“In a lot of games, we don’t come out firing,” Kubinec said. “It’s good to get that jump start, and it really makes the game a lot easier when the momentum is on your side.”
After the Rough Riders got on the board on Cory Hicks’ 65-yard receiving score, the Falcons methodically drove down the field in 11 plays on their next drive. Shane Wittman ran it in from 16 yards out.
Kubinec opened the second half with an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that capped Salisbury’s night, at least in terms of scoring. Plenty of underclassmen and reserves got the opportunity to make a name for themselves on a varsity field that will pay dividends down the road.
“A lot of teams after they get a big win, they come out the next game expecting it to happen again,” Kubinec said. “We didn’t let that happen this week. We stayed focused and got it done.”
“Our kids came out with the right attitude, the right focus, the right mentality, and it showed,” Cerco said. “They did what they’re coached to do; they’re extremely coachable players.”
Shane Wittman led the Falcons’ rushing attack, which included 11 ball-carriers, with 47 yards on five carries. CJ Wittman and Kubinec each had 46 yards apiece on the ground.