Northampton junior wide receiver/defensive back Tristen Pinnock likes to play on Thanksgiving Day.
Last year, sophomore Pinnock took home the Konkrete Kids’ defensive MVP when he returned a kickoff for a touchdown and had an interception in Northampton’s 47-13 win over Catasauqua.
On Thursday, Pinnock upped the ante at the 99th meeting of all-time rivals, scoring five touchdowns in the Konkrete Kids’ 42-12 home win.
“I love this game,” Pinnock said of the Thanksgiving matchup. “Great heritage. I love this game so much. I’m so happy to be a part of it.”
The junior won Northampton’s MVP when he caught four passes for 106 yards and three touchdowns. Pinnock also rushed for two goals and recorded an interception on defense in the final play of the Konkrete Kids, who defeated the Rough Riders for the eighth straight game.
“I thought so, yes. i could feel it As soon as I rolled out of bed, I was ready,” Pinnock said, feeling a big game this morning. “I’m so excited to really play every game. I was put in the right position to do the games.
“It means everything to me to get out of here and win an award like Most Valuable Player,” added Pinnock. “I just want to make a name for myself, for the team, and I will do everything I can for that.”
Northampton leads the all-time series over Catasauqua 62-33-4.
The Konkrete Kids ended their second straight season with a 12-1 record. The 12 wins again tied a program record for Northampton.
Pinnock caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Antonino Russo for a fourth and a goal to give the Konkrete Kids a 7-0 lead at 8:30 in the first quarter. The senior-to-junior connection then went deep for a 73-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 14-0, with 1:02 remaining in the first quarter. Pinnock hit the ground for a 2-yard touchdown run at 5:03 in the second run to increase Northampton’s lead to 21-3.
The MVP receiver then ran for a 1-yard touchdown at 2:36 in the third quarter to take the lead to 28-10. Pinnock still wasn’t done when he then caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Russo with 16 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to take a 30-point lead.
“He’s a bloody good athlete and a bloody great talent,” said Northampton manager John Toman of Pinnock. “He’s just a junior, so I’m bringing him back.”
Northampton junior Caden Henritzy ran for 160 yards on 15 carries.
Russo completed 11 of 19 passes for 203 yards left with three touchdowns and an interception.
Richardson goes on long return, ties team record
Konkrete Kids senior Jaelen Richardson returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown in the final minute of the third quarter.
“I saw it kick at me. I wouldn’t catch it fair. I knew I wanted to take this one,” Richardson said. “I missed a few boys. I was right on the touchline, collected a couple of good blocks and got into the end zone.”
Richardson also had an interception for Northampton in the fourth quarter. It was the senior’s 11th interception in his Concrete Kids career and tied with the program’s all-time mark set by John Itterly.
“Definitely looking for an interception,” Richardson said. “Hopefully they throw the ball my way and it happened and I made the game.”
“It feels good. I wanted to break it but obviously the game was over so I couldn’t really break it,” Richardson added of the record. “To have my name in the record books means a lot to me.”
Junior linebacker AJ Slivka had two interceptions for the Northampton defense, including a one-handed grab in the second quarter.
Roughies show grit
The Rough Riders put up a tough fight against their much bigger rival but failed to capitalize on certain opportunities.
After Catty dropped a pass for a fourth and five late in the first quarter, Northampton hit Pinnock with Russo’s 73-yard touchdown pass in the next game to give the Konkrete Kids a 14-0 lead.
Senior Wyatt Younes caught a fling from senior Christian Fye on a trick play on the second-half opening kick, returning it 59 yards to Northampton’s 21-yard line. But Slivka stopped Catasauqua’s chance with an interception at the Konkrete Kids 4-yard line on fourth and fifth plays.
Northampton stayed 6:30 in the third quarter, leading 21:10 when Catasauqua missed a 41-yard field goal.
“I thought we played well,” said Rough Riders coach Travis Brett. “We dropped a pass in the first half. Probably go in half 21-17 but we dropped that pass. Come out, we had a great return there. We couldn’t finish the ride. They gave us a chance at an interception, we didn’t finish that drive. It’s just tough. We don’t have the numbers. They’re immersed in fresh bodies throughout the game. If we have 20 more guys on the sidelines, we’ll win this game.”
It’s quite a challenge for Class 2A Catasauqua to compete with Class 6A Northampton.
“I’m definitely proud of the achievement. There’s no doubt about it,” Brett said. “The children thought they could play with them. And I thought they did. Some mistakes. If you don’t have fresh bodies, these big boys will eventually wear you down. That happened there.”
Catasauqua senior Anthonie Hunsicker rushed for 91 yards with 29 carries to earn the Rough Riders MVP for the game. The senior rushed for over 1,000 yards during the season despite missing four games with injuries.
“I really wanted to get Anthonie 1,000,” said Brett. “He actually missed the first four games with a knee problem, otherwise he would have had it. And hardly trained all season. He came to briefings and such, but he was often in the coach’s room. For a lad who really hasn’t trained and hasn’t played the first four games, he’s a damn good backup for us.”
Senior quarterback Christian Fye rushed for a touchdown and scored in a 35-yard field goal for the Rough Riders, who finished the season with a 7-6 record. Catasauqua will also lose key seniors Javier Sobrado and Younes.
The successful seniors from Konkrete Kids are sailing into the sunset
Northampton will say goodbye to some talented seniors including Russo, Richardson, lineman Christian Bundra, lineman Luke Baker and lineman Anthony Gordon.
“It definitely means a lot,” Richardson said of his senior class affiliation. “We were 24-2. We’ve been through a lot, change of coaches, COVID year. It’s been an interesting high school career. But we persevered and made the best of it.”
“They were really successful, but the juniors are also part of it. So we feel like there’s a good core coming back,” Toman said. “To the seniors, 24-2. Probably the best graduating class in the Lehigh Valley with 24 wins and 2 losses I would imagine. Two 12-1 seasons are nothing to scoff at. Of course we appreciate everything they have done for the program.”
“These guys have been my role models in recent years,” Pinnock said of the seniors. “Now is the time for me to take on that role as a role model for these younger kids and step into the role of a leader. And I’m ready for it.”
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Josh Folck can be reached at [email protected].