By Rob Potter
GRAHAMSVILLE September 18, 2001 Tri-Valley had problems on both sides of the ball in Saturdays non-league football game versus James I. ONeill.
The Bear defense had trouble slowing down the Raider offense and the T-V offense was relatively held in check by the ONeill defenders.
All of which added up to a 49-6 blowout victory for ONeill (2-0).
The tone of the game was set when T-V (0-2) had the ball inside the ONeill 30-yard line twice in the opening minutes of the game and was stopped on fourth-down plays each time. After that second possession, ONeill wasted little time in scoring.
Running back Raymond Brown capped a three-play drive with a 63-yard touchdown run with 44 seconds left in the opening quarter.
The Raiders kept momentum in their favor by scoring three touchdowns in the second quarter. Matt Zielinski, who gained 183 yards on the day, ran a sweep for a 26-yard touchdown with 9:00 left in the quarter to give ONeill a 14-0 advantage.
On the next Raider possession, senior quarterback Jon Logan connected with split end Shadrick Carter for a 10-yard touchdown.
A botched handoff by the Bears set up ONeill for its next possession. The Raiders recovered the fumble at the Bear 22-yard line and Harvey Green scored on a 10-yard run two plays later.
Greens score gave ONeill a 27-0 halftime lead. (T-Vs Nate McCarthy blocked the PAT kick following that touchdown.)
One of the few bright spots for the Bears came late in the third quarter. ONeill had the ball near midfield when a hard hit by a Bear defender separated the Raider ballcarrier from the ball. T-Vs Dan Felder recoved the ball at the Bear 49.
Three plays later, Felder took a handoff and swept to the right side of the T-V line. He then eluded two would-be tacklers and raced down the sideline for a 41-yard touchdown.
Felder finished the day with 130 yards rushing on 16 carries.
Theyre a good club, T-V Coach Max Stolzenberg said of ONeill. Theyve got speed and they have good size.
Stolzenberg noted that his team made some mistakes early, but praised his squads effort.
The team really tried the rest of the game, but there were a lot of good people on the other side of the ball today, the veteran coach said.
ONeill Coach Ted Shramek also praised the Bears determination.
In the first quarter, Tri-Valley pushed us down the field, Shramek said. But they dont have the depth we have and that probably hurt them later in the game. But they came ready to play and never backed off.
Though he was clearly happy with the victory, Shramek said he doesnt know what kind of team he has.
Shrameks next chance to find out how to define his squad is Saturday. That is when the Raiders are slated to visit Sullivan West in a Class C match-up.
Tri-Valley, meanwhile will travel to Millbrook Saturday for a Class D tilt.
When you get hammered 49-6, all you can do is regroup, Stolzenberg commented. We need to regroup and get better.
Note: In light of last Tuesdays tragedy at the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the teams observed a moment of silence prior to kick-off. Also, players from both teams displayed American flag stickers on their helmets and the Tri-Valley players covered the T-V on their helmets with a piece of black tape.