By Rob Potter
GRAHAMSVILLE After suffering defeats at Walton and at Ellenville in its first two games of the season, the Tri-Valley football team needed a victory.
The Bears scored that win on Saturday afternoon in a Section IX Class C game versus visiting Pine Plains.
T-V gave the home fans plenty to cheer about, recording a 42-7 victory over the Bombers.
The Bears amassed 494 yards of total offense and limited Pine Plains to just 82 offensive yards.
“Talk about a must-win game, this was it,” T-V Coach John Rusin said. “We couldn’t afford to start the season 0-3 and 0-2 in Class C.
“Our guys played a great game,” he added. “Now we have to keep improving.”
T-V (1-2, 1-1 Class C) moved the ball very well on the ground, rushing for 418 yards.
Many of those yards were picked up on four long scoring runs.
Senior running back Jesse Boncek and senior quarterback Dustin VanLieu had second-quarter touchdown runs of 65 yards and 70 yards, respectively, to give the Bears a 22-7 lead at halftime.
With 10:12 left in the third quarter, junior running back Matt Bogorad sprinted 65 yards to the end zone to push the T-V advantage to 28-7. Sophomore running back Peter DiMilia scored the Bears’ final TD of the game with a 63-yard run with 1:07 remaining in the third quarter.
Boncek and Bogorad paced the T-V rushing attack. Boncek registered 130 yards on 10 carries, while Bogorad ran five times for 91 yards.
DiMilia had 84 yards on three carries and VanLieu added 66 yards on six carries.
VanLieu also completed 4-of-11 passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns. One of those TDs was a 24-yard strike to Bogorad with 8:23 left in the first quarter which gave T-V a 6-0 lead. Brendan Moore caught VanLieu’s second TD pass, which covered 35 yards and pushed the Bears’ advantage to 34-7 with 5:06 remaining in the third quarter.
Moore caught another pass to finish the afternoon with 52 yards receiving.
While T-V enjoyed a 15-point lead at halftime, Rusin reminded his players that there were still 24 minutes of football to be played.
“Pine Plains works very hard,” he said. “They’re a disciplined team and a well-coached team. They are competitive every time we play them.”
The Bombers scored their only touchdown of the afternoon with 3:32 left in the first quarter. Robert Lamont intercepted a VanLieu pass and ran 9 yards to the end zone. The subsequent extra-point kick gave Pine Plains a 7-6 advantage.
But T-V regained the lead on Boncek’s aforementioned 65-yard TD run.
Pine Plains Coach Jim Jackson, who played for the Bombers in the early 1970s, noted that he has a very young team as there are only five seniors on the roster.
“The kids played hard today and that’s all I can ask for,” he said.