By Rob Potter
MAHOPAC November 16, 2004 For the second consecutive year, the Tri-Valley Bears won the Section IX Class C championship and then played Section I Class C champion Dobbs Ferry in a regional football championship game.
And for the second straight year, the Eagles ended the Bears gridiron season.
Dobbs Ferry (11-0) grabbed a 14-0 lead in the first eight minutes of Saturday evenings game at Mahopac High School and did not look back. The Eagles added 26 points in the second quarter en route to a 47-0 victory over T-V (6-4).
With the win, Dobbs Ferry advances to the state Class C semifinals. The Eagles will face Schuylerville this weekend at Dietz Stadium in Kingston and the winner of that contest will play in the state title game on Saturday, November 27 in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
After winning the coin toss at the start of the game, T-V elected to receive the football. But on three plays, the Bears could only move seven yards against the Dobbs Ferry defense.
On fourth-and-three, T-Vs Josh Smith lined up to punt the ball to the Eagles. Smith booted the ball, but a stiff wind that was blowing towards the Bears held it up for a couple of seconds. When the pigskin fell back to the turf, Dobbs Ferry had a first-and-10 at the T-V 29-yard line.
Three plays later, senior running back Richard Burke scored on a 1-yard run to give Dobbs Ferry a 6-0 lead with 8:31 remaining in the opening quarter. However, T-Vs Owen Williams broke through the line and blocked the extra-point kick to keep it a 6-0 game.
But the Eagle defense forced T-V to go three and out on its next possession. After Smiths punt, Dobbs Ferry took over on the Bears 44-yard line.
Five plays later, Dobbs Ferry quarterback Dan Juvan connected with Zach Connett on a 17-yard touchdown pass to extend the Eagles lead to 12-0. Juvan then completed a two-point pass to George Kalaba, giving Dobbs Ferry a 14-0 advantage with 4:15 left in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Burke scored three touchdowns. He reached the end zone on runs of 10, 16 and 47 yards.
With just 32 seconds remaining until halftime, Dobbs Ferry halfback Bob Stutz scored on an 11-yard run.
The final TD of the evening occurred with 7:56 left in the third quarter. Brian Perez caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Juvan to cap a seven-play drive to open the second half.
In an awards ceremony following the contest, Burke was named the games Most Valuable Back. His teammate Dan Gardner was chosen as the Most Valuable Lineman of the contest.
As a team, Dobbs Ferry rushed for 341 yards. Juvan completed 3-of-5 passes for 36 yards and the two TDs.
Burke led the Eagles rushing attack with 16 carries for 217 yards. Stutz added 45 yards on six carries.
T-V managed only seven first downs in the game. Josh Smith led the Bears offense, rushing nine times for 50 yards. Running back Danny Knox, who ran for over 1,200 yards this season, carried the ball 17 times for 31 yards. Danny Walter added 17 yards on four carries.
Theyre quick, theyre fast, theyre tough and theyre disciplined, T-V Coach Dave Viglione said of the Eagles. They are well-coached and they are in this game for the fourth straight season.
They are [regional] champions, he added. Thats what we want to be.
Viglione noted that the Dobbs Ferry defense played well and really limited what the Bears could do offensively.
We were able to move the ball out of our power-I formation, he said. But we had too many situations where it was first-and-20. You are not going to covert too many first-and- 20s against a team like Dobbs Ferry.
Viglione noted that his team began the season by playing Walton and ended it by facing Dobbs Ferry. He said that if Walton, which won the Section IV Class C championship, and Dobbs Ferry meet in the state title game, he would travel to Syracuse to see those two squads square off in the Carrier Dome.
In addition to limiting the Bears rushing attack, the Eagles defense did not allow T-V quarterback Joe Garigliano to complete a pass and intercepted him once.
They were amazing, Garigliano said.
Despite the disappointing end to the season, the junior QB found a few positives on the evening.
We hope to make it back to this game next season, Garigliano said. On that last drive it was basically our juniors against their juniors and we moved the ball pretty well.
While Joe Garigliano is one of several Bears who will return next autumn, the game marked the final scholastic contest for 15 seniors on the T-V roster. They are: Ryan Barkley, Andrew Brooks, Alan Coombe, Don Curry, Darick Degraw, Andrew Garigliano, Casey Grey, Kevin Hornbeck, Josh Moore, Chris Poley, Josh Smith, Matt Smith, Justin Stubits, Jon Waxman and Owen Williams.
Im proud of my team, Viglione said. They didnt quit, they hung in there and competed against a really great team.