Brandon Leap had been waiting quite a while to make his first career start as quarterback of the Pleasant Valley Bears.
His time finally came Friday night. And he made the most of it.
Leap, the pre-season starter who was forced to watch from the sidelines with an injury for the first five weeks of the season, made his first career start a memorable one. The sophomore threw three first-half touchdowns and led his Bears to a 36-13 Mountain Valley Conference win over visiting East Stroudsburg North. The win puts the Bears back atop the MVC standings.
"I had some butterflies before hand," admitted Leap, who finished with 271 yards passing and four touchdowns. "It was tough. The adrenaline was pumping, but once we got going things settled down.
"Our offense looked great. (Andrew) Romeo made some great plays. We have a ton of great playmakers on our team and we just came out to play. It was a great game."
Coming into this weeked, it was no secret that Pleasant Valley's defense was having trouble stopping the run and the Timberwolves were the epitome of a run-first football team with their 'Veer' rushing attack. Running back Joe Clouse entered the game as the MVC's third-leading rusher and led the conference with 13 rushing touchdowns.
While Clouse did get his yards (204 yards on 21 carries) and did score two more touchdowns, it was the only damage the T'Wolves could do all night. The Bears held the rest of the North offense to just 98 total yards.
"Our defense played great," said Pleasant Valley head coach Jim Terwilliger. "I've said that this North offense is a really good offense. They have some tremendous players and for our defense to do what they did tonight was a big testament to them.
"I think our offense fed off their performance. Again, it was a team effort and everyone did their jobs tonight."
Pleasant Valley got on the board first, as Leap hit Romeo for a 39-yard touchdown on just the Bears' fourth play from scrimmage. After Clouse scored for North to tie the game at seven, Leap found Rob Getz streaking across the field for a 31-yard score seconds before the first quarter would end.
Leap connected with Romeo once again midway through the second quarter for a 10-yard touchdown. A minute later, North fumbled the snap on a punt and set the Bears' up at the 13-yard-line with two minutes to go. They would eventually kick a field goal to go up 23-7 at the break.
Clouse scored his second touchdown early in the third to draw North to within ten, but the Bears responded immediately and pushed their lead back to 16 on the very next play. Leap hit Romeo over the middle, who outran the North defense for a 67-yard touchdown. Romeo finished the game with four receptions for 129 yards and three scores.
Pleasant Valley's Josh Thornton added a one-yard touchdown run early in the fourth to cap the scoring for the night.
"It was an outstanding team effort in all areas," said Terwilliger. "Our offense, defense, special forces and the 12th man were really clicking on all cylinders tonight against a good East Stroudsburg North team. I don't think the score shows how good (North) is.
"I think our guys played and executed and put together four quarters of football. We had yet to do that this season. I thought a lot of guys stepped up and that's the name of the game."