EAST STROUDSBURG - Friday night marked the first time Jim Terwilliger had taken his Pleasant Valley football team back home to face his former coach and mentor Ed Christian.
The homecoming turned out to be not as sweet as Terwilliger would have liked.
East Stroudsburg South turned four Pleasant Valley turnovers into 28 points in the first half and went on to win easily, 42-7 in Mountain Valley Conference play. The Cavaliers (7-1, 5-0) have now outscored their conference opponents 174-25 on the season.
"Coming back here was tremendous," said Terwilliger. "(The Cavs) have a beautiful facility. We look forward to playing good competition and they are certainly the cream of the crop in the MVC. We wanted to see where we were at coming into tonight and we got a good feel of what we need to do better."
Terwilliger played under Christian during his high school career and became one of his assistant coaches last season after he graduated from East Stroudsburg University. Pleasant Valley then offered Terwilliger the head job before this year. According to Terwilliger, there wasn't much conversing beforehand.
"We didn't talk much before this game," admitted Terwilliger. "Ed is a very fierce competitor - much like myself. We said our hellos and everything and I am sure we will be best of friends after this weekend, but game week is different.
"One thing he taught me is that come game time your edge has to be sharp. It wasn't like we were having tea and crumpets before the game."
As is the result for most teams, turnovers were the downfall for the Bears (3-5, 2-2). Pleasant Valley turned the ball over four times in its first seven possessions to go along with three punts. South turned all four of those turnovers into touchdowns.
After Jon McQuay accidentally knocked the ball out of quarterback Anthony Bumbulsky's hands on the team's first drive, South signal-caller Robbie Moyer hooked up with Sean Connors a play later for a 25-yard touchdown.
Three drives later Bumbulsky was picked off by the Cavs. South's quick-strike offense stayed true to form, as it went 70 yards in five plays to go up 21-0.
Later, a McQuay fumble and another Bumbulsky interception were turned into 14 more points. Both times South scored in four plays, with Collin Hegarty punching in it from five and three yards out respectively.
"We are successful when we don't turn the ball over," Terwilliger said. "And obviously the turnovers hurt us tonight. Then when you look at the execution and the tackling - that's what good teams have to do. They have to get their assignments down and make plays. I think it was a combination of things that went wrong for us tonight."
Rob Getz was Pleasant Valley's lone bright spot on a dreary night. The sophomore tailback picked up 92 yards on eight carries and scored the Bears' only touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Getz popped off a 49-yard run on the same drive to account for most of his yards.
Next week will be another big test for Pleasant Valley. The Bears will host the Cardinals from Pocono Mt. East in the annual Old Oaken Bucket game.
Still, Terwilliger knows his team must improve between now and then in order to have a chance.
"I need somebody to not take the weight on their shoulders, but to lead us up the hill," said Terwilliger. "I need someone to get these guys fired up and play the greatest game in the world. I need somebody to get us up because this was obviously a shot. When you get beat like we did tonight, we need to pick ourselves back up. I am looking for someone to do that this week."