St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy (1-0) at Towanda (0-1)
Kahsim “NuNu” Buey was the catalyst, sparking the Wolves with punt-return touchdowns of 55 and 80 yards, and also adding two receiving touchdowns. In all, Buey amassed all-purpose 286 yards.
This week, the Wolves travel to Towanda to face a Knights squad coming off a heartbreaking 25-20 loss to Lewistown.
Buey may have been a standout last week, but quarterback Phil Fenstermacker and running back Sabir Breon were also impressive.
Fenstermacker went 13-for-18 for 141 yards and three scores, while Breon rushed six times for 109 yards and two scores.
That trio, along with others, will be huge for the Wolves, who have a roster of just 18.
“They’re big, they’re big,” said St. Joseph’s head coach Dave Carson. “There’s no doubt about it.”
On the defensive side, Titus Tice and freshman Elisha Lipscomb will be needed to slow Towanda quarterback Noah Huff, who rushed for 136 yards and two scores on 22 carries.
Tice recorded a sack last week and also recovered a fumble, while Lipscomb wreaked havoc in the Lakers’ backfield.
The Lakers consistently hurt the Wolves early by running through the right side of the line. St. Joseph’s countered, however with blitzes and penetration from the weak side.
“I liked the way we stuffed the run,” Carson said. “They hit us early, but then we made some adjustments and basically took them out of the run game.”
Mercyhurst’s lead rusher, Eric Baer managed just three yards rushing in the second half.
As in any game, turnovers will also be key. Towanda turned it over five times in week one, which led to 18 fourth-quarter points for Lewistown.
“They’ve got a nice athlete at quarterback that we have to contain or it could be a long night,” Carson said. “Even though they had five turnovers, they were still in the game and actually had it won. They’re a dangerous football team that does a lot of things well.”