By Rob Potter
GRAHAMSVILLE October 16, 2001 A potent Tri-Valley rushing attack and a 28-point second quarter spelled trouble for visiting Liberty Saturday afternoon.
Tri-Valley (2-4) piled up 431 yards of total offense in posting a 40-7 win over Liberty (0-6) in the non-league contest.
While the Liberty defense had trouble stopping the T-V offense, its offense had just as much of a struggle getting on track against the T-V defenders.
The Indian offense managed only two first downs in the game. However, Libety avoided the shutout when quarterback Andrew Riegler threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Pedro Mercado with 17 seconds left in the game.
I dont know which team is going to show up, Liberty coach Mike Castelli said of his squad. Either the team that scored 27 points against Spackenkill last week or the team that got blown out the first two weeks of the season. Obviously, the latter showed up today.
Tri-Valley took control of the game in the second quarter. Already up 6-0 thanks to a 9-yard touchdown run by David Felder in the first quarter, the Bears wasted little time in scoring in the second. Felder capped a 10-play drive with a 23-yard touchdown scamper and teammate Alex Pearston ran in the two-point conversion to give T-V a 14-0 lead with 9:42 left in the quarter.
The Bear defense held Liberty on its next possession and blocked a punt to give the offense excellent field possession. Felder then swept right for a 37-yard touchdown run. He added the two-point conversion for a 22-0 lead with just over seven minutes left until halftime.
Liberty fumbled the ensuing kickoff, which led to an 11-yard touchdown run by Bear running back Nate McCarthy.
On the next Indian possession, Riegler attempted to pitch the ball to a halfback while running an option play on first down. Pearston, however, read the play from his linebacker spot and intercepted the option pitch. He then ran untouched 34 yards for a touchdown, boosting the T-V lead to 34-0.
Offensively, Pearston carried the ball 13 times for 114 yards. Felder paced the Bear running attack with 180 yards on 22 carries and McCarthy carried the ball 10 times for 95 yards.
Tri-Valley coach Max Stolzenberg praised the work of his defensive line and linebackers in holding the Liberty offense in check.
Chris Cassidy and Anthony Garigliano played well from their linebacker spots, Stolzenberg said. And Alex Pearston and Kevin Bertholf contained Libertys sweep plays. The defensive linemen Odin Geyer, Jason Harte, Trevor Bertholf, Matt Cook and Brandon Conklin did a good job. They really controlled the Liberty offense.
While the praised Tri-Valley for playing hard and playing tough, Castelli noted that his team needs to work harder.
Obviously, our execution needs to improve and our discipline needs to improve, he said.
Libertys next chance to improve will be Saturday, when the Indians host Millbrook in a non-league game. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.
Tri-Valley, meanwhile, travels to Deposit for a non-league game.
Weve got a tough opponent up there, Stolzenberg said of Deposit, a Section IV, Class D team. It should be a good test for us going into the last two weeks of the season.