ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Tate Catanese walked out of the tunnel at Highmark Stadium on Thursday night in awe of his opportunity.
“Wow,” the junior quarterback for Clymer/Sherman/Panama said to himself. “Josh Allen plays here.
“And now I get to play here. Just like him.”
Catanese, wearing Stefon Diggs’ No. 14, was Allenesque in leading the unbeaten Wolfpack to a 38-12 win against Wilson in the Section VI Class D championship game. He completed 12 of 17 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns, while running for 62 yards and another two scores on 10 carries.
Bryce Poskar rushed for 55 yards and a touchdown, Alex Barmore and Carter Brink caught scoring passes, and Bryce Hinsdale kicked a 27-yard field goal to go along with 64 yards on five receptions, as CSP claimed its first sectional title since winning consecutive state championships in 2018-19.
Coming into the season, Catanese studied video of those championship teams, particularly their quarterback, Hinsdale’s older brother Gerrit.
“I watched his mannerisms, how he threw the ball, and just tried to model my team after them,” Catanese said. “It motivates us because we want to be like them. Get back to the dome and keep winning. But we just have to keep it one week at a time.”
Ranked No. 2 in the state in Class D, the Wolfpack (10-0) will meet the Section V champion in the NYSPHSAA Far West Regional next Friday night at Williamsville South.
CSP coach Ty Harper said he noticed similarities between this year’s team and the repeat state champions from the start of preseason that went deeper than familiar last names.
“They are tough, they’re resilient, they’re disciplined, they’re coachable,” Harper said. “Really all the intangibles, everything you can ask for in a team, they are just so much fun to be around.”
Harper recalled from previous state title runs, “it’s a grind. Nothing is going to be handed to you. You have to beat good teams, well-coached teams. We beat one tonight, and there’s more out there for us.”
A few years after the Wolfpack “got to the pinnacle,” Harpers said, “hopefully, if we work hard and things go our way, we’ll have another crack at that.”
Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.