Bears lean on QB
Calm, cool and collected.
Football coaches crave those characteristics in their quarterbacks, especially when the game is on the line.
Fortunately for Pleasant Valley mentor Jim Terwilliger, Anthony Bumbulsky has those qualities.
And even more fortunate for Terwilliger, Bumbulsky was his quarterback last Friday night.
The talented senior has played numerous positions for the Bears this season. But against East Stroudsburg North, he was behind center ... and he didn't disappoint.
Bumbulsky finished with an outstanding all-around effort, carrying 14 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed 8-of-10 passes for 113 yards and two scores.
But when it mattered most, when the Bears fell behind with two minutes to play, Bumbulsky was at his best. He led his team on a 64-yard game-winning drive that was capped off with a six-yard TD pass to teammate Rich Irving.
That effort gave PV an exciting 30-25 comeback victory and earned him the TIMES NEWS Football Player of the Week.
"There was all reason in that game to be flustered, nervous, or have a jumpy attitude," said Terwilliger. "When a quarterback can come in and say 'I can get this done, it's on me,' that certainly puts everyone at ease.
"He's a tremendous athlete. One thing that was great to see Friday night was there were times we were down and times where there was a lot of adversity. He really rose to the occassion. He had a great game statistically but what you don't see with the statistics was his leadership. He took us down the field and won the game."
Bumbulsky is no stranger to the quarterback position. As a freshman, he was moved from running back. He started at QB his sophomore and junior seasons but eventually became a receiver.
When Derrick Walling was injured, though, Bumbulsky was summoned back to being a signal-caller.
"I like being a receiver, running downfield, catching the ball, and lowering my shoulder," said Bumbulsky, who has 18 catches for 302 yards and four TDs this year. "I've been the quarterback before so I didn't have to learn any new plays. I guess I'm comfortable again doing it."
"He does prefer receiver more than quarterback, but one thing about him is he's all about the team," said Terwilliger. "He does whatever he needs to do to put our team in the best position to win. That's the kind of guy he is and that fits right in with what I believe."
In Friday's win, what was needed was both Bumbulsky's scrambling abilities and his accurate arm.
As an example, on PV's first play of its final drive Bumbulsky escaped pressure and turned it into a key 22-yard pickup.
"I like a little bit of both. It's the best of both worlds," said Bumbulsky of running and throwing the ball. "You have to be a playmaker. There are 11 guys on the field and (on that first play of the winning drive) I knew I had blockers downfield. I got flushed out of the pocket ... it ended up for the best."
"He's very dangerous," said Terwilliger. "From teaching quarterbacks, being a quarterback, and being around quarterbacks, one thing that is overlooked is the importance of footwork. When you have the type of kid that can hurt you with his arm as well as his legs that's a dual threat and that's what I look for in quarterbacks if they can make something out of something bad. He definitely has the ability to do that."