Sullivan County Democrat
O n l i n e  E d i t i o n National Award-winning, Family-run Newspaper
  SPORTS ARCHIVES Established 1891 Callicoon, New York  
home  |  archives

The game meant something

By Frank Rizzo
LAKE HUNTINGTON — October 26, 2010 — A meaningless game?
Consider this: Coaches losing their cool. One player ejected. Thirteen penalties assessed in the first half.
It’s not a meaningless game when Tri-Valley and Sullivan West tangle on the gridiron.
There was no playoff determination riding on Saturday’s Class C non-league tilt at Sullivan West HS; the visiting Bears had already clinched, while the Bulldogs had been eliminated, both the week before.
That T-V came away with a 26-20 win was tribute to the Bears’ gritty determination to carry momentum into this Friday’s class C semi against top-seeded John S. Burke.
“Your heart is tremendous,” T-V (4-4) Coach John Rusin told his players after the game, praising them for coming back twice in the game – and from an 0-3 start in September.
“We came into this game wanting a good showing,” Rusin noted. “It’s a tremendous win… a good note going into the playoffs.”
The rivalry assured that the contest “would have been a hard-nosed battle even if both teams were 0-7,” Rusin added.
Sullivan West (3-5) struck first. At 2:45, a pair of penalties gave the Bulldogs a first down at the T-V 33, and Thomas Mootz ran it in from there. Blain Reddish kicked the extra point for the 7-0 lead.
The Bears responded just over three minutes later, early in the second quarter, as they moved 58 yards and quarterback Peter DiMilia ran it in from the 10. The PAT kick by Anthony Beale tied the game.
After forcing a punt, T-V marched 42 yards on 10 plays to go ahead at 3:01 as DiMilia again plunged into the end zone from the 1. This time the kick was not successful.
The Bulldogs responded with a 54-yard scoring drive to end the half. Quarterback Ryan Alsdorf ran for a key first down and then found Jeremy DeGori open in the corner for a 6-yard scoring pass. Reddish’s PAT gave the hosts a 14-13 lead.
T-V took the opening second half kickoff and marched 72 yards to the SW 5, but DiMilia fumbled and James O’Connor recovered for the Bulldogs.
No harm was done as T-V stopped the ensuing drive at midfield, then took over with 1:13 to go in the quarter. The Bears capped their drive 2:54 later, with a 10-yard romp by Jon Monforte. The two-point run was stopped, but the Bears had reclaimed the lead, 19-14.
Two big first-down pass plays from Alsdorf to Alex Manzi and DeGori sparked the next Bulldog possession. DeGori then beat his defender to gather an 8-yard TD pass at the 6:18 mark and give the hosts a 20-19 lead. The two-point pass was not successful.
DiMilia keyed the ensuing Bear possession with a 56-yard run to the Bulldog 3. Joe Mickelson then ran it in from the 1 and Beale’s PAT finalized the score with 3:18 left.
There was still anxious moments for the Bears, however, as SW had shown an ability to move the ball. After taking over on downs, DiMilia connected with Greg Swarthout on a third-and-10. The 18-yard pass play kept the drive going and preserved the win.
“I told them to play for pride,” said SW Coach Ron Bauer of his squad, one of just a handful of Bauer-coached football teams which have failed to make the playoffs.
“I was very pleased. Our kids could have given up, but didn’t back down at all,” Bauer summed up. “It was a good, hard-fought game.”
“They gave us everything we could handle, and their quarterback has a great arm and did a good job of picking apart our secondary,” Rusin summed up.
Notes: Alsdorf completed 10 of 19 passes for 102 yards, with Manzi (3/44) and DeGori (3/37) getting the most… DeGori added 18 tackles while linebacker Brandon Wagner led the team with 19… the T-V stat sheet: Aric Boyes 12 rushes, 63 yards; Joe Mickelson, 14/83, one reception for 20 yards, eight tackles; DiMilia: 14/123 yards rushing, 7 of 8 for 67 yards passing, 14 tackles - this was the first time the Bears had won at Sullivan West.

top of page  |  home  |  archives