By Rob Potter
GRAHAMSVILLE September 24, 2002 Already up by a touchdown, the Tri-Valley offense again drove deep into Eldred territory late in the first quarter of Saturdays Section IX Class D football game.
With 1:37 to play in the opening quarter, host T-V had a first and goal at the Eldred 5-yard line.
Guys, youre as flat as can be, Eldred Coach Frank Kean shouted to his team.
Perhaps stirred by their coachs comment, the Yellowjacket defenders came up big. After they stuffed T-Vs Dave Felder for no gain on first down and a pass by Bear quarterback Joe Garigliano fell incomplete, Eldreds Vin Reilly made a juggling interception in the corner of the end zone to end the T-V scoring threat.
However, a one-touchdown deficit was as close as Eldred (1-2, 0-1 Class D) would be in the game.
T-V (1-2, 1-0 Class D) took a 13-0 halftime lead en route to posting a 21-6 victory in what was the Class D opener for both squads.
Pacing the Bear offensive attack was David Felder, a senior running back. He scored the first T-V touchdown of the game and finished the afternoon with 210 rushing yards.
With five seconds left in the second quarter, Garigliano connected with Eli Felder on a 39-yard touchdown pass. The PAT kick was no good, but T-V had a two-touchdown lead and momentum heading into the locker room.
After stopping the Bears on their first possession of the second half, the Yellowjackets drove 51 yards in 12 plays. Kyle Schneider capped the drive by running for a 6-yard touchdown with 2:03 left in the third quarter. The subsequent PAT kick never got off the ground, due to a bad snap.
But T-V responded immediately to the Yellowjacket touchdown. The Bears moved down the field to the Eldred goal line as the third quarter ended.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Garigliano plunged through the line on a quarterback sneak to give the Bears a 19-6 advantage. David Felder then ran in the 2-point conversion to conclude the games scoring.
We just came out flat, Kean said after the game, echoing his sentiments from the first quarter. We came off a big win last weekend, but we just werent ready to play today.
Kean also gave a lot of credit to the Bears.
Tri-Valley beat us today, they beat us in the trenches, he said.
T-V Coach Dave Viglione noted that he was proud of the way his team played. Viglione added that his relatively young team is still adjusting to a new coach and system. Under the venerable Max Stolzenberg, past Bear football teams ran the wing-T offense. Viglione took over the T-V head coaching duties after Stolzenberg retired and moved to Arizona earlier this year.
The kids played well today and Im really proud of them, Viglione said. I think Eldred had the size advantage and we had a speed advantage. We were able to beat them with our speed. Our kids hung in there and played tough.
The win was especially satisfying for the Bears because they were shut out 37-0 by Tuckahoe the previous weekend.
While Viglione is looking for his team to continue to progress throughout the season, he is confident that Eldred will be improving as well.
I wouldnt want to play them again this season, he said of the Yellowjackets. They are a good team now, but in three or four weeks they are going to be a very good team.