SWIFTWATER – Not only was the Old Oaken Bucket on the line Friday night, but it was also the 50th career meeting between Pleasant Valley and Pocono Mountain East.
The Bears retained the Bucket for the second straight year under head coach Jim Terwilliger by beating the Cardinals, 35-13 in Mountain Valley Conference play. Known as a passing team throughout this year, Pleasant Valley did it on the ground this weekend and ran for 253 yards and three touchdowns on its way to victory. It is the Bears 27th win over the Cardinals.
"I am a quarterback, so I like to shoot the ball," said Terwilliger. "And as long as I am here we will throw the ball. But to be balanced on offense is everything.
"We certainly wanted to come out and show that we can run the football. We have a great offensive line and they take a lot of ownership. They want to run the ball and that's a good thing. We wanted to come out tonight and be as multiple as we could be and we did a nice job of that."
Junior tailback Robert Getz led the way with 150 yards on 16 carries. He had two touchdown runs of four and 30 yards and picked up 112 of his yards after halftime. The scoring runs were Getz's 13th and 14th of the season. He also went over 1,000 total yards on the year.
"We talked about it at halftime," said Getz. "We had to run the ball. (East) expected us to come out in the spread so we said we were going to come out in the tight (formation). We couldn't lay down at halftime. We are a second-half team.
"It's the Bucket game. There is a lot of hoop-la going on. Whatever we did, we had to keep our composure and treat it like any other game. We did and we are able to take the Bucket back home."
Pleasant Valley (8-1, 5-0) jumped on Pocono Mountain quick by scoring on each of its first two possessions. Getz's backfield-mate, senior Dekimbe Smith, punched it in from two yards out just two minutes into the game. It was Smith's tenth rushing touchdown on the season and his fourth in two games.
Following a fumble recovery, the Bears marched 76 yards in nine plays for another score. Quarterback Derrik Walling hit Rich Irving, who broke a few tackles and scampered 18 yards for the touchdown. It was Irving's eighth touchdown grab of the year.
Walling then found Albert Linares for a 14-yard score seconds before halftime to push the Bears' lead to 21-0. It was Walling's 33rd touchdown pass of his career. Walling actually broke the school record last week with his 31st touchdown throw.
Getz scored his first touchdown of the night early in the third quarter. The Cardinals fumbled a handoff on their fourth play from scrimmage and set the Bears up with nice field position. Getz carried the ball four times on the five-play drive and racked up 49 yards in the process. He would score his second touchdown late in the fourth on a 30-yard run.
Next week Pleasant Valley will travel to Stroudsburg for its last game of the regular season. If the Bears beat the Mounties, they will capture their first MVC title since 2004.
With Friday's win, Pleasant Valley almost certainly guaranteed itself a spot in the district playoffs. The Bears haven't competed in districts since 1994.
"We were sloppy in the second half," said Terwilliger. "So we still have things to work on. We can't get ahead of ourselves.
"It shouldn't be hard to motivate these guys next week. For them to know what is on the line and not show up next Friday is something I definitely don't expect."