By Rob Potter
ROSCOE October 11, 2005 After losing to Eldred in a tough defensive battle six days earlier, the Tri-Valley Bears wanted to get off to a good start in Friday nights non-league football game versus the Livingston Manor/Roscoe Devilcats.
It took exactly one play for the Bears to grab the early momentum.
After LMR kicked off to T-V, Bear quarterback Joe Garigliano then brought his teammates to the line for a first-and-10 play at their own 34-yard line. Garigliano then handed the ball to tailback Danny Knox, who quickly blasted through the middle of the line. Knox broke into the secondary, sprinted past a Devilcat defensive back near the LMR 30-yard line and made his way to the end zone.
James Connolly drilled the extra-point kick to give the Bears a 7-0 lead just 19 seconds into the contest.
The Knox TD fired up the Bear players, coaches and fans.
T-V (3-3) kept its momentum for the rest of the night and recorded a 41-14 victory over LMR (1-5).
Paving the way for the win was the T-V offensive line, which allowed Garigliano, Knox and the other Bear backs rush for 410 yards and four touchdowns.
Knox led the Bears with 13 carries for 256 yards. He also scored three touchdowns. In addition to his 66-yard scamper, Knox had a 36-yard TD run in the final minute of the first quarter and a 55-yard TD run in the third quarter.
Danny Walter carried the ball three times for 55 yards and Ryan Van Lieu added 42 yards on six rushes. Van Lieu scored on a 5-yard run late in the first quarter.
Garigliano ran for 41 yards on eight carries and Kevin Smith gained 16 yards on three attempts.
Even though the steady drizzle that fell throughout the evening forced both the Bears and Devilcats to call a majority of running plays, Garigliano was able to connect with his receivers for a pair of scoring strikes. With nine minutes left in the second quarter, Garigliano threw an 11-yard TD pass to tight end Jim Walsh to give T-V a 27-0 lead. Just over a minute later, Garigliano threw a pass over the middle to Connolly, who then eluded an LMR defender near the 10 and crossed the goal line for a 40-yard touchdown.
In addition to his touchdown catch, Connolly made five of six PAT kicks. The only one he missed was the result of a bad snap.
Down 41-0 at the end of the third quarter, the Devilcat offense began to click in the final 12 minutes of play.
LMR began the fourth quarter with a 15-play, 85-yard scoring drive. On a third-and-three play from the T-V 6-yard line, quarterback Mike Perry threw a pass to Troy Kirchner in the corner of the end zone to put the Devilcats on the scoreboard.
The Devilcats then recovered an onsides kick and began another march to paydirt. Lance Brookins capped the drive with a 9-yard TD run with just 20 seconds left in the game.
T-V Coach Dave Viglione said that Knoxs touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage absolutely set the tone for the game.
Once he broke through the line and got into the secondary, he was not going to be caught, Viglione said. Danny had a great game. He is one of the top running backs in Section IX. He is probably our best athlete and a real team leader. He is a tremendous kid.
Our offensive line did a great job opening up holes for Danny and all of our running backs, Viglione added.
The Bear coach also praised his defense for playing very well. In particular, he noted the performance of Gary North, who had several tackles.
Viglione also lauded the Devilcats for their performance.
I think they are the most improved team in Section IX, he said. They are a very good team. Fred [Ahart] and Kevin [Clifford] are great coaches and have really done a nice job with these players.
LMR Co-Coach Fred Ahart was pleased with how the Devilcats stayed focused and put together two good touchdown drives in the fourth quarter.
I was proud that our guys kept playing hard right to the end of the game, Ahart said.
He noted that Dan DeVantier had a couple of nice runs in the fourth quarter. One of those was on a key third-and-19 play during the Devilcats first scoring drive. DeVantier took the football from Perry on an end-around play and gained more than 20 yards to pick up the first down and keep the drive going.
Ahart also praised the Bears, especially Knox and Garigliano.
Danny Knox is a very good running back and Joe Garigliano is a very smart quarterback, the veteran coach said. Garigliano controls the game from the quarterback position.
Ahart and fellow Co-Coach Kevin Clifford are now focused on the Devilcats next three games, all of which are against fellow Section IX Class D squads. On Friday night, LMR will travel to Eldred to meet the Yellowjackets under the lights. On October 22, LMR will play at Webutuck and on Oct. 29 the Devilcats will wrap up the regular season by hosting Millbrook on the Manor gridiron.
Its in our hands from here, Clifford said. We have three league games in a row and we still have a chance to make it to the sectional title game.
LMR is currently third in the Class D standings with a 1-1 record. Chester is in first place with a 2-0 mark, while Chester and Millbrook are tied for second place with 1-0 records.