Cavs defeat Bears
EAST STROUDSBURG - Pleasant Valley forced East Stroudsburg South into three-and-outs on three of its four offensive series in the first half.
After taking a slim one-point lead into half, the Bears couldn't find an answer to repeat the same kind of defensive performance in the final 24 minutes of play.
After Senior Night festivities came to a conclusion at the "Purple Pit," the Cavaliers' Marquis Harp single-handedly guided his team to a 37-14 Mountain Valley Conference victory.
After not catching a single pass from Tyler McLaughlin in the first half, Harp took two of his four total catches for touchdowns, ran in the final score of the game and finished with an impressive 245 total yards of offense.
"We had no answers for No. 11 (Marquis Harp)," said Pleasant Valley coach Jim Terwilliger of Harp, who had 44 yards on the ground at half. "He just took over the ball game.
"We didn't do what we had to do to win a football game tonight and that's certainly showed in the second half."
It was Harp's teammate Tariq Butler who capped an 80-yard drive to open the second half with a 26-yard scamper for a touchdown, which gave the Cavaliers a 13-7 after Rob Farris added the extra point.
After the Bears went three-and-out, Harp took the third play of the Cavaliers' next offensive series straight to paydirt. McLaughlin found Harp down the field on a slant pass for a 53-yard touchdown reception.
The Bears were able to answer right back when Brandon Leap caught Sekou Jones in stride for a 35-yard touchdown pass. The score trimmed the Cavaliers' lead to five, 19-14.
The Cavaliers' answered with touchdowns from Niko Petrone and Harp to open up a 31-14 lead.
Rob Getz returned the ensuing kickoff for 35 yards to put Pleasant Valley on the Cavalier 40-yard line.
On a fourth-and-15 play, Leap found Hiram Woodruff open, but Woodruff was tackled two-yards short of a first down giving the hosts possession of the ball.
Down three scores with just over eight minutes remaining in the game, the decision to go for the first down was one the Bears had to make.
"We're in this thing to win it," Terwilliger said. "At that point of time, our defense hadn't done a very good job of doing it. We wanted the ball in the hands of our playmakers. We can't point to one play alone. It was a combination of plays that contribute to the outcome of this football game. Wish we could have some back, but we can't. That's the way you play it.
"East Stroudsburg did a tremendous job tonight. And, we'll move on from here and hopefully we will get better."
A play later, Harp took another pass for 43 yards, but the Bears' defense prevented him from reaching the endzone. Six plays later, the Cavaliers cashed in another TD. Instead of a pass, Harp took a handoff from McLaughlin for a five-yard TD scamper.
Pleasant Valley had a chance to put up six points in the waning moments. But, inside the redzone for only the second time in the second half, the Cavaliers' Ryan Nazario intercepted the pigskin to end the threat.
"We shot ourselves in the foot," said Terwilliger about his team's second half offense. "We did a lot of negative things. We have to take a look at the film and improve from here. We have a lot of young players playing.
"We came out looking to wear them down. We didn't do that for four quarters of football. We only did it for a half."