Pleasant Valley knew what it needed to do in order to contend with visiting Stroudsburg in last night's Mountain Valley Conference clash.
The Bears knew their opponent was going to be difficult to beat and if they would be presented with opportunities, they would need to take advantage of them.
Things, however, don't always pan out the way they are hoped for.
The Mounties dismantled PV's offense and lit up the defense, as they raced out to a 35-0 lead and invoked the mercy rule, winning the MVC title outright, with an 35-7 victory.
"We knew that they were a tough team. We knew that (Robbie) Bennie was a tough player," said Pleasant Valley head coach Jim Terwilliger. "We just didn't make the plays when we needed to."
Bennie, the Division I (baseball) recruit was unstoppable. He finished the night rushing 23 times for 217 yards, scored three rushing TDs and passed for another. The performance by the 6-2, 205-pound senior allowed him to complete the 2011 regular season with 1,000 yards rushing and passing.
"He is definitely hard to stop as a defense and he just refuses to go down easily," Stroudsburg mentor Joe Bernard said. "Once we sort of figured out what our opponent is trying to do, we can adapt and use him more efficiently."
The efficiency was definitely there for the maroon and white against the Bears, too.
Early on, the victors recorded two scores in the first frame. On their first possession, Bennie carried the ball on six of nine plays and his last was a one-yard push for the 7-0 lead. He followed that with a 46-yard pass to Ronnie Savoia for the 14-0 advantage.
In the second quarter, the Mounties' third possession yielded a third TD for the 21-0 lead.
PV had a chance to cut into that on the opening kickoff of the second half when the ball went through the legs of a Mountie returner and the ball skidded to the goal line. One of the Bears attempted to pounce on the ball, but it skidded out and resulted in a touchback.
"We had opportunities tonight and I told the kids that that's when they have to capitalize," said Terwilliger. "You just can't give up opportunities like that against a good team like Stroudsburg."
As the third session panned out, Stroudsburg tacked on two more scores. The first was another Bennie one-yarder. Andrew Brome scored on his team's next possession for the mercy rule to kick in.
In the final frame, the Bears got on the board whenBrandon Leap connected with Dean Bumbulsky for a 10-yard scoring reception.
"I'm happy that the kids did a lot of things this season the right way," said Terwilliger. "I'm proud of them and happy that they handled it the right way, too."