By Ted Waddell
GRAHAMSVILLE October 21, 2003 It was a tough homecoming game for the Tri-Valley Bears.
In Saturdays non-league gridiron battle, the Bears were crushed, 42-14, by the Bulldogs of Sullivan West.
Scott Peters put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard first by returning a punt 58 yards for a touchdown in the opening quarter. Although SW (3-3) failed to add extra points following Peters touchdown, they were up 6-0.
Later in the first quarter. T-V (5-2) evened it up 6-6 on a 47-yard touchdown pass from Joe Garigliano to Adam Whitehead.
As the final seconds of the first quarter ticked away, the Bulldogs made it a 14-6 contest on a 38-yard fumble recovery run for a touchdown by junior John Kitson and a follow-up two-point conversion.
At 9:54 in the second quarter, SW scored again as Peters connected with Andre Trujillo on a 35-yard halfback option pass. The PAT kick sailed through the uprights, and SW was up 21-6.
The Bulldogs took another bite out of the Bears at 4:32 on a 4-yard dash over the goal line by junior running back Orion Darder. The good-as-gold extra-point kick made it a 28-6 game.
With 8:30 remaining in the third quarter, sophomore signal caller Garigliano scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak for the Bears. The subsequent successful two-point conversion closed the gap to 28-14.
In the first five seconds of the fourth quarter, however, SWs Steve Daley scampered 52 yards to paydirt. The successful PAT kick put the Bulldogs up by a 35-14 margin.
With 4:52 remaining in the game, a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Bulldog junior Joe Meyer and a successful PAT closed out the scoring at 42-14.
T-V stats: Josh Smith had 27 carries for 125 yards; Adam Coombe carried the ball eight times for 33 yards. Garigliano for 4-of-14 in the air for 66 yards and a touchdown.
SW stats: Daley carried seven times for 52 yards and a TD and Meyer completed six of 10 passes for 103 yards and one TD. For the Bulldog defense, Steve Musso racked up 15 tackles and John Glassel had one quarterback sack.
The ball didnt bounce our way early in the game, said T-V Coach Dave Viglione. We got behind, and we had to get out of our game plan.
The kids played hard in the second half, and you couldnt ask for anything more, he added.
SW Coach Ron Bauer said his players played good football and are finally getting focused.
Weve just got to keep it up, Bauer commented. Were playing good football now, were finally getting it together.
Notes: Nate Henderson, a 16-year-old junior and 13-year-old seventh grader Terri Lyn entertained the crowd as they donned inflatable animal costumes a cow and pig, respectively to drum up business for Tri-Valleys FFA chicken barbecue later that afternoon.
Toward the end of the game, Henderson loped along the sidelines to engage the Bulldogs mascot in kungfoo-style mortal combat.
The T-V FFA cow won hooves down, causing the game announcer to call out over the PA system, Lets here it for the cow!
Chris Mickelson, a T-V junior who suffered a broken leg on the final defensive play of the previous weeks game against Eldred, watched his teammates battle the Bulldogs while sitting in a wheelchair along the sidelines.
SW will return to divisional play on Friday night when the team travels to Highland for a Section IX Class B (Division II) contest. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, T-V will play on Saturday afternoon at Millbrook in a non-league game. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.