Touchdown.

After touchdown.

After touchdown.

Pleasant Valley's Brandon Leap made sure his playmakers got familiar with end zone in last Friday's shootout with Dieruff.

Leap threw six touchdown passes to six different players while racking up 288 yards through the air to lead the Bears to their first win of the season in dramatic fashion.

The stunning performance also helped Leap earn TIMES NEWS Player of the Week honors.

"Brandon has always been capable of great things," Terwilliger said. "As a quarterback, he's developed into a tremendous passer over the years.

"I think that showed Friday night because he was able to get so many guys involved in the offense. It wasn't just one or two guys that he was keying on; he allowed himself to play within the offense and get the ball to different people. He's certainly capable of doing those things on a regular basis."

After passing for over 2,000 yards and 22 touchdowns a year ago, there was little reason to believe Leap wouldn't be able to improve those numbers this season.

But it was clear in week one that graduation took its toll on the Bears and their typically high-powered offense. Pleasant Valley struggled to move the ball in its opener, as Leap managed just over 100 yards passing and no touchdowns in a 31-9 loss to Nazareth.

With another defeat looming against Dieruff, it was Leap that stepped up and took control with his arm and his legs, capping a second half comeback with a 22-yard touchdown run.

"He really stepped up as a leader when we needed him in that game," Terwilliger said. "It was adverse conditions and I thought he showed great resolve in being able to comeback and lead us down the field in a number of different ways.

"And making a play with his legs (at the end) shows that he can do things as a dual-threat quarterback and we're looking to build on that. We have a young football team and Brandon is certainly one of the veterans. He's the guy that brings us all together."

While Leap may be the linchpin that brings the offense together, he is also adept at spreading the ball around and letting his skill position players work in the open field.

"We just have so many guys making plays," Leap said. "Everyone was just making plays for me and I was just getting them the ball.

"We have a lot of young guys, but they all work hard. They all want to make plays and they all want to do their best to help out the team. When you have a bunch of guys like that, it helps the flow of everything."

As one of only two returning starters on offense, Leap's knowledge and understanding of the playbook has been just as important as his play on the field.

"He has really developed into a coach on the field," said Terwilliger. "He understands our scheme inside and out and knows where to get people. He's a student of the football game.

"He always has interactions with our offensive line coach and he knows exactly what everyone has to do. He has a great balance of being aware of what everyone has on the field and that really helps him because he's able to direct people, especially young guys in spots where it's their first time playing."

Leap's growth as a leader and quarterback will be key as Pleasant Valley embarks on a run at the Mountain Valley Conference title.

"We're going to lean on him, but I think he's got the shoulders to handle that," Terwilliger said.