SWIFTWATER - Coming into its Friday night matchup with Pocono Mountain West, Pleasant Valley's offense was ranked third in the TIMES NEWS area with an average of 290 yards per game.
Unfortunately for the Bears, their offense was no where to be found this weekend.
Pleasant Valley managed just 43 total yards in the first half and finished with only 112 for the game, as the Bears dropped their first conference game of the year to the Panthers, 14-7. Meanwhile, Pleasant Valley's defense was gashed on the ground and gave up 221 yards and two touchdowns to West's Travon Pugh.
"Our offense just wasn't clicking," said Pleasant Valley head coach Jim Terwilliger. "We have some injuries, but that is never an excuse. What we have to do is take a look at how we function as an offense and find an identity. Right now we are playing different tricks as we get going. Our offense has a lot of playmakers and a lot of potential, but potential never won any ball games."
Pocono Mountain had a bad snap go over its punter's head on its first possession of the game to give the Bears the ball at the Panthers' 25-yard-line. However, Pleasant Valley could muster only three total yards before turning it over on downs. Other than three plays late in the third quarter, that would be the deepest the Bears would get all night.
Rob Getz, Pleasant Valley's feature tailback, gained a mere 62 yards on 15 carries and was kept away from the big play. His longest rush went for 17 yards, which came on his touchdown run with 39 seconds remaining in the third quarter. On the Bears' attempt at a game-tying drive in the fourth quarter, Getz saw the ball just three times in 15 plays.
"Pocono Mountain had a tremendous game plan," Terwilliger said. "They played a scheme and did a nice job. They outplayed us. I'd like to say that we did what we had to do to win and came up short, but I can't say that. May hat is off to Pocono West."
After totaling 31 yards of offense on his team's first two drives, Terwilliger decided to pull starting quarterback Troy Verway in favor of would-be starter Brandon Leap. Leap fared a little better, but finished the night 6-for-17 for 24 yards and an interception. He led the Bears on their only scoring drive of the night, albeit the drive started on the Panthers' 37 and he handed the ball off on six of the seven plays.
"I told both of those guys that they are like sons to me," Terwilliger said. "We are going to work a rotation in early. It is time for Leap to get some snaps. He has been sitting out with a busted finger. He came in and played and started to lead us. Sometimes those hardships come about, but he will be a good one.
"Troy is a heck of a leader. He coaches Brandon as if he was a coach himself. So that young man will have to learn the ropes and learn how to play."
Pocono Mountain scored all of its points within four minutes of each other. Pugh punched it in from the one-yard-line twice in the second quarter. The scores sandwiched a safety. A bad snap went over punter Jordan Caffrey's head and into the endzone. Caffrey picked the ball up and tried to kick it away, but the punt was blocked and went out the back of the endzone.
Pleasant Valley (3-3, 1-1) will try to rebound at home next week against East Stroudsburg North.