Bears bounce back
There was more excitement and anticipation surrounding the Pleasant Valley football program this season than there had been in a long time.
The Bears last winning season on the gridiron was in 2004. During the next four seasons, they managed a total of just eight victories.
Last season, Pleasant Valley hired Jim Terwilliger as its new head coach. Young, energetic and just a couple of years removed from being a record-setting quarterback at East Stroudsburg University, Terwilliger guided the Bears to a surprising .500 record that included three victories in the final four games.
But all the enthusiasm that Terwilliger and the Bears generated at the end of last season was put to the test when they suffered a 38-0 loss to Nazareth in this year's season opener.
"We had some fundamental errors and that is something that I don't expect us to do," said Terwilliger. "When we line up 11-on-11, I expect things to happen. When we don't execute, that is unacceptable to me.
"To get beat 38-0 is not us. Nazareth played well, but that score is not indicative of this team. It is not our mentality. In order to beat good teams you have to be consistent for all four quarters."
Pleasant Valley responded to the setback with a dominating performance against Honesdale. The Bears rolled to a 55-0 victory and in the process had several notable accomplishments.
* The 55 points were the most for the Bears since Oct. 10, 2003 when they defeated East Stroudsburg North, 58-14.
* It was the first shutout by a PV team since Oct. 7, 2005 when it beat Pocono Mountain West, 7-0.
* It was the largest margin of victory for Pleasant Valley since at least 1979 (as far back as the TIMES NEWS has records). The previous record was 49 points against Pocono Mountain West on Oct. 3, 2003.
* The 93-point swing over a two-game span is also the largest since at least 1979. The previous biggest turnaround was 74 points in 1995 when the Bears lost to East Stroudsburg by 33 points and bounced back to beat Tamaqua by 41 points.
"We needed to bounce back. We needed to get to Honesdale in the worst way. You never want to get hit in the mouth the first game of the year.
"I think the kids showed some moxy. They looked at it as a chance to learn and get better."
FIREWORKS ... Since Slatington High School changed its name to Northern Lehigh High School in 1981, the Bulldogs have never played a higher scoring game than they did on Saturday.
In the 331 football games played since the name change, the 88 points that NL and Wilson combined to score broke the school record of 79 points that was set on Oct. 7, 2005 when the Bulldgos defeated Salisbury, 52-27.
The game was also noteworthy for another reason. Since 1981, the Bulldogs have won 166 games. The 36 points they allowed to Wilson are the most points they have ever allowed and still won the game. The previous high was 32 points which happened last year.
HE GETZ IT ... Pleasant Valley's Rob Getz had a big game on Friday night at Honesdale. Getz scored four touchdowns, including two on punt returns.
The last time a Pleasant Valley player scored at least four TDs in a game was Oct. 10, 2003 when Chris Haffner had five touchdowns against East Stroudsburg North.
Getz also became the first Bear to return a punt for a score since 2003. That came when Jamie Irvine scored on a short 26 yard return against Pocono Mountain West.
The two punt returns by Getz was the first time that a TIMES NEWS area player accomplished that feat since Sept. 23, 2005 when Northern Lehigh's Matt Sutjak turned the trick against Southern Lehigh.
A LONG TIME COMING ... With their victory over Saucon Valley, Northwestern's football program saw its winning percentage move over the .500 mark for the first time in school history. The Tigers, who have been playing football since 1965, are now 230-229-6 overall.
BIG BEN ... Ben Snyder of Northwestern tossed a pair of touchdown passes of 40+ yards on Friday in a victory over Saucon Valley.
The last time a Tiger quarterback threw two TD passes of at least that many yards in a single game was Aug. 29, 1997 when Steve Schaffer completed scoring passes of 67 and 45 yards. Both of those completions were to current Northwestern assistant coach Josh Snyder.
PJ POWER ... Jim Thorpe's PJ Johnson scored a pair of touchdowns Friday in a win against Reading Central Catholic.
Johnson scored from 32 yards on the ground and later caught a 45-yard TD pass. The last Olympian to have a rushing and receiving touchdown with both being over 30 yards was Gabe Robinson back on Oct. 15, 1999 against Lourdes. In that game, Robinson had a 45-yard touchdown run and also hauled in a 57-yard scoring pass.
SCORING SPREE .... Northern Lehigh opened the season with a 42-point outburst against Notre Dame and followed it up with a 52-point explosion against Wilson. The 94 total points in back-to-back games is the most since 2003 when the Bulldogs scored 68 points against Palmerton and followed it up with a 42-point effort against Springfield-Montco for a combined 110 points.
Last week's 52 points was the first time the Bulldogs cracked the 50-point mark since Oct. 6, 2006 when they beat Saucon Valley, 56-14.