By Ted Waddell
GRAHAMSVILLE October 29, 2002 Dietz!, Dietz!, Dietz! Were going to Dietz!, chanted the members of the Livingston Manor football team after blasting the home team Bears of Tri-Valley 30-0 on Saturday in a Section IX Class D football game.
In the wake of defeating the Bears, the Wildcats ensured themselves a berth at the upcoming Section IX Class D championship game at Dietz Stadium in Kingston. Manor will face Roscoe in the title tilt, which is slated for 5 p.m on Sunday, November 10 at Dietz.
Faced by a determined Tri-Valley defensive line, Manor scored once in the first half.
At 5:23 in the opening quarter, Brian Will took a punt return 45-yards into the endzone to give Manor (7-1, 3-0 Class D) a 6-0 lead. In the first of several failed 2-point conversion attempts by Manor, a pass from John Henry Schleiermacher to Patrick Branning was ruled incomplete.
Later in the first quarter, on a fourth down situation for Manor, T-Vs Bryan Poley recovered a fumble. On the first play of the drive, Bear quarterback Joe Garigliano connected to Poley for a gain but there was a flag on the play.
On a subsequent pass to Eli Felder, the receiver almost earned a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card by holding up the ball with a pleading look in his eyes. But the refs didnt buy it, and called it incomplete.
An interception by Kyle Lackey gave the Wildcats good field position at the T-V 26-yard line.
Felder proved he could play the interception game a few minutes later by picking off a George Thomas pass to give T-V (2-6, 1-2 Class D) possession on its own 27-yard line after Schleiermacher pitched the ball out to Thomas, who then threw a halfback option pass.
Moments later, Manor regained possession when Thomas snagged a T-V pass.
The Wildcats scored three TDs in the third quarter to make it a 24-0 ballgame.
At 9:51, Thomas scampered 35 yards into the endzone. The attempted 2-point conversion pass failed.
Manors Remington Parker recovered a Bears backfield fumble at 9:01 giving the Wildcats possession of the ball on the T-V 40-yard line. On the second play of the drive, Thomas took it down to the 12-yard line. On the following play, he went around the right side to create a first-and-goal situation at the 2-yard line.
Schleiermacher took it across the line for six points on a QB sneak at 6:48. His 2-point conversion pass was broken up by a couple of hard-charging Bears defenders in the endzone.
With about five minutes remaining in the third quarter, Bear quarterback Garigliano came up a bit short on a fourth-and-short situation, allowing Manor to take over on the T-V 45-yard line.
On the first play of the drive, Thomas took it around the right side to the Wildcats 20 after getting hung up for precious seconds in his own line. Thomas got the ball closer to the goal line, but his effort was negated by a penatly. Not to be denied, he charged to the 5-yard line on the next play.
At 1:04, Thomas picked up his second TD of the outing on a carry from the 4-yard mark.
On a later Manor possession, the Wildcats had a first and goal at the 8-yard line, the Bears got called for a false start penalty, a misfire that advanced the ball half the distance to the goal at their 4-yard mark.
At 9:33, Travis Morton closed out the games scoring on a touchdown run.
With about seven and a half minutes remaining in the game, Rich Trotti sacked Garigliano, his second quarterback sack of the day. In addition, Trotti had 10 tackles for Manor.
Going into the game, Thomas had 2,094 rushing yards for the season. He picked up 234 yards in the Wildcat victory, including a pair of TDs.
It was a hard fought game, he said. In the first half we werent doing very well . . . we werent awake, but in the second half we picked everything up and scored.
I think well do great at Dietz, added Thomas.
Schleiermacher said the Wildcats played a little slouchey in the first half, but after changing their blocking pattern in the second half were much more solid as they put a hurt on the Bears.
Last year, Livingston Manor lost to the rival Blue Devils of Roscoe by a point in the regular season, a defeat that cost them a ticket to the sectionals at Dietz.
We were robbed of Dietz, so well get a little payback this year, said Schleiermacher.
As his team exited the field, Manor Coach Scott Branning said, Now were going to get even for last year!
I thought we were in a tough battle right until halftime, he added. We had a really hard time with their defense, but at halftime we made some adjustments and it worked.
T-V Coach David Coach Vig Viglione said his team played well defensively in the first half, but after awhile their size and maturity wore us down.
At 6-0, I thought we had a real shot, but we just couldnt seem to get anything going, he added.
Viglione credited the play of Alan Coombe.
He was all over the field for us today.
With one more game remaining on their schedule the Bears are slated to host Class D foe Millbrook on Saturday Viglione said, I hope the kids show the pride and desire I know they have, come back and play tough to finish the season on a winning note.