By Rob Potter
KINGSTON November 08, 2005 Overtime was not necessary this time around.
When the Sullivan West Bulldogs and Tri-Valley Bears squared off in a Section IX Class C regular season game on October 22 in Grahamsville, the teams were tied 17-17 at the end of regulation.
The Bears posted a 20-17 overtime win when James Connolly kicked a 28-yard field goal and the T-V defense stopped the Bulldogs short of the end zone when they went for the game-winning touchdown on fourth down during their OT possession.
But in Sundays Section IX Class C championship game at Dietz Stadium in Kingston, SW (7-3) grabbed the lead and momentum in the opening minutes.
The Bulldogs took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and went on to post a 34-7 victory.
SW will return to Dietz Stadium this Friday to face Section I champion Dobbs Ferry in the opening round of the state tournament. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m.
The Bulldogs took the opening kickoff and drove 70 yards in eight plays. Jason Leewe capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. Brett Youmans made the extra-point kick to give SW a 7-0 advantage with 8:50 remaining in the first quarter.
The lead grew to 14-0 three minutes later when Youmans caught a pass from quarterback Jim Moloney, faked out a pair of Bear defenders and raced down the sideline for a 60-yard TD. Youmans then added the PAT kick.
The Bulldogs stretched their advantage to 20-0 with 9:14 remaining in the second quarter. On a second-and-three play, senior running back Steve Daley took a handoff from Moloney, ran up the middle and then bolted to the right and into the corner of the end zone.
T-V (6-4) slowed the Bulldogs momentum a bit on the ensuing possession, however.
On second-and-15 from the 20-yard line, senior quarterback Joe Garigliano dropped back to pass. He threw the ball out into the flat to Danny Knox, who caught the pigskin and then sprinted down the sideline for an 85-yard touchdown. The TD which was the longest scoring pass play ever in a Class C title game and Connollys extra-point pulled T-V to within 20-7 with 8:21 left until halftime.
But that was as close as the Bears would get.
SW sealed its win with two touchdowns in the second half. With 7:57 left in the third quarter, Jimmy Erlwein ran for a 12-yard TD and with 10:13 remaining in the fourth quarter Moloney plunged into the end zone from a yard away.
The Bulldogs ran the ball 50 times for 304 yards. Erlwein led the way with 128 yards on 13 carries. Daley added 92 yards on 18 rushes and Leewe finished with 76 yards on eight carries.
Brian Hubbert and Will Schlott led the Bulldogs defense by making two sacks apiece.
We had some great blocking up front, SW Coach Ron Bauer said. And the defense played well except for a couple of plays. It was just an all-around great team effort.
The line opened up some great holes today, Daley added.
When asked how T-Vs regular season victory affected the Bulldogs heading into the rematch with the Bears, Erlwein had a simple reply.
It was all the motivation we needed, he said.
Daley and Erlwein agreed that the loss to the Bears combined with a tough week of practice had the squad more than ready for Sunday.
When we practice hard, we play hard, Daley explained. We practiced hard all week, played hard today and got the win.
Ryan Van Lieu led the Bears offensive attack with 57 yards on nine carries. Knox had 25 yards on five carries and Danny Walter gained eight yards on six carries.
Garigliano completed 10-of-21 passes for 154 yards. Connolly caught two of those passes for 45 yards, Jim Walsh had four receptions for 12 yards and Walter caught three passes for 12 yards.
The T-V offense was hampered when Knox left the game with a knee injury early in the third quarter. He appeared to first hurt the knee in the opening quarter, but stayed in the game.
T-V Coach Dave Viglione noted that Knox was a warrior.
I feel he is one of the best football players in Section IX, Viglione said. Hes a tough kid who scored an 85-yard touchdown on a hurt knee.
Despite that fact, the coach said that he made the decision to keep Knox on the bench during the rest of the second half even though the senior running back wanted to go back into the game.
Im not going to risk a 17-year-old injuring himself further win, lose or draw, Viglione said.
The Bears leader noted that the Bulldogs really used their advantage in terms of size and strength.
Their line really knocked us back, Viglione said.
The bottom line is they were better than we were today, he added. Two weeks ago, we were the better team, but today they were better. They really deserve this win and I wish them luck against Dobbs Ferry.
Viglione noted that he was proud of his team, which won the Class C regular-season championship.
At the postgame awards ceremony, Moloney, who completed 4-of-8 passes for 125 yards was named the games Offensive Most Valuable Player. T-V sophomore linebacker Nick Cassidy was chosen as the Defensive MVP for making several tackles.