By Ted Waddell
GRAHAMSVILLE October 5, 2004 Tri-Valley Bears junior running back Danny Knox had quite a day for himself on Saturday as the Bears defeated the visiting Pines Plains Bombers 26-12 on the way to clinching the Section IX Class C regular season title.
T-V (2-2, 1-0 Class C) and Pine Plains (2-2, 0-1 Class C), which are the only two Class C football squads in Section IX, will square off again in November at Dietz Stadium in Kingston for the post-season championship and the opportunity to move on in the state playoffs.
Danny Knox saw the entire field today, said Dave Coach Vig Viglione, coach of the Bears. He ran with vision, with heart, toughness and speed.
He was an outstanding football player today
it was one of the best performances Ive ever seen by a running back, Viglione added. He carried the day for us today.
One might ask why Knox carried the day.
The answer is that on a rain swept field that curtailed the aerial attack, Knox rushed into a determined Bombers defense 39 times for a whopping 340 yards. He also scored all four of T-Vs touchdowns in the contest.
As a team, the Bears racked up 430 yards on 66 carries. Josh Smith ran eight times for 46 yards, Alan Coombe rushed 12 times for 34 yards and Joe Garigliano had 14 yards on six carries.
Garigliano, the T-V quarterback, completed 1-of-2 passes, a 7-yard strike to Donald Curry.
While the Pine Plains game plan to stop Coombe proved quite effective, Knox stepped into the breach. He picked apart the Bombers defensive, rushing for nearly 80 percent of his teams total rushing yards.
Quoting a famous coach on the gridiron who is recalled as saying You find your big guns, and you shoot em, Viglione said his big guns for the day were Knox, Smith and Coombe on offense and defensive standouts Kevin Hornbeck, Owen Williams, Casey Gray and Matt Smith.
In the wake of a scoreless first quarter, Knox romped to a 25-yard touchdown with 3:28 left in the second quarter. A 2-point conversion run by Coombe put the Bears up 8-0
Less than a minute later, Bombers QB Jimmy Boyles connected with Shane Odell on a 21-yard touchdown pass. The subsequent 2-point conversion pass to Pat Hooks was caught, but the referees ruled that it was hauled in out of bounds and T-V took an 8-6 lead into the locker room.
At the 5:40 of the third quarter, Knox scored his second TD of the outing on a 35-yard run to make it 14-6 game.
Later in the quarter, Knox struck again on a 25-yard TD run to put the T-V up by a 20-6 score.
With 20 seconds left on the third quarter clock, Kyle Odell scored a TD for Pine Plains. The PAT failed, and T-V was up 20-12.
Just seconds into in the fourth quarter, Knox brought the hometown fans to their soggy feet as he scored his fourth TD of the afternoon, a 51-yard scamper to the goal line.
Gariglianos valiant effort on the 2-point conversion came up short to end the games scoring at 26-12.
With 3:38 remaining in the game, Hornbeck sacked the Boyles on a first-and-goal play at the T-V 9-yard line, as Pine Plains was knocking at the Bears door.
It was a well fought game, Pine Plains Coach Tom Giorgio said. My guys never gave up
Knox was outstanding, and their offensive line controlled us up front.
We were able to get some turnovers, but we just couldnt capitalize on them, added Giorgio, noting that the Bears had three fumbles in the games opening quarter.
Viglione was pleased with his teams overall effort.
We showed a lot of grit and determination, he said. Our defensive showed a lot of heart today
they [Pine Plains] are a heck of a ball club.
Were starting to put it together, Viglione added.