Pleasant Valley rallies to edge ESN
Pleasant Valley head coach Jim Terwilliger is no stranger to game-winning drives.
But on Friday night, instead of directing the march himself, he was watching from the sidelines.
The Bears' rookie mentor, who used to quarterback at East Stroudsburg University, had to like what he saw from his signal-caller.
After visiting East Stroudsburg North took its first lead of the game with 2:12 left to play, PV's Anthony Bumbulsky moved his team 64 yards on six plays for the game-winning touchdown.
That score, a six-yard pass to Rich Irving, came with just 25 seconds remaining and lifted the Bears to a thrilling 30-25 Mountain Valley Conference victory.
On the march, Bumbulsky ran three times for 27 yards and completed all three of his pass attempts.
"He just did a tremendous job," said Terwilliger. "He was playing a little injured ... but it's a tremendous testament to him and the type of character football player he is.
"You look forward to those situations where the preparation meets execution. When you get the ball back with two minutes left and you have to drive to score, that's why you do what you do. That's why I love coaching. I loved it as a player and I love it more as a coach. Hopefully, though, I won't have to be in too many more of these or I might get a little older too quick."
Terwilliger probably aged a few years during the game's final quarter.
PV (3-4) entered the frame with a 20-13 advantage, but less than four minutes into the period the Timberwolves completed a scoring drive with a seven-yard TD run by Denzal Bunn-McKenzie. The extra-point, however, hit the upright to keep the Bears ahead.
The Bears extended the margin to 23-19 on their next possession when Bumbulsky's 28-yard toss to Irving helped set up a Ryan Habick 23-yard field goal.
Eastburg North, however, came right back to take the lead. Quarterback Brendan Woods hit Omar Richardson with a pair of passes and broke off a key 22-yard run. After Bunn-McKenzie found the end zone from seven yards out for his third score of the night, the T'wolves were up 25-23.
All that did, though, was set up the late-game dramatics.
"I told the guys (in the huddle) that we just needed to stay calm and play as a team," said Bumbulsky. "I also told them to have fun.
"I just try to be a playmaker. Playing quarterback is like riding a bike. I like playing receiver better, but whatever helps the team is what I'll do."
What helped the team early in the contest was an ESN turnover.
A fumble recovery by the Bears led to Bumbulsky's 15-yard TD run less than four minutes into the contest.
The PV quarterback also threw a 27-yard scoring strike to Rob Getz in the opening quarter and broke off a 72-yard TD run later in the half.
"This win picks our spirits up," said Bumbulsky. "We just have to keep fighting."
"I always believe you're in every game, and that players make plays," said Terwilliger. "With this team now I'm trying to instill an expect to win philosophy."