Pleasant Valley retains Bucket, dumps PM East
The implications of the game were out of control for Pleasant Valley in its game against Pocono Mountain East.
If the Bears won, they would retain the rights to the 'Ol Oaken Bucket, a 51-year old rivalry tradition that means so much to both teams. They would also move ahead of their opponents in the Mountain Valley Conference standings. And finally, they would give themselves a shot at a league championship, as they face MVC leader Stroudsburg next week.
Regardless of all of those potential outcomes, the Bears remained focused for four frames, and got the job done, ousting the Cardinals, 21-6.
All things considered, the hosts had to be impressed with their defensive showing overall, as they maintained a shutout up through three and a half quarters and came up huge down the stretch, intercepting a pass for a touchdown as East tried to tie the game up.
Pleasant Valley head coach Jim Terwilliger could not stop the praise of his players on that side of the ball.
"Our defense played outstanding for all four quarters tonight," he said. "They came up so big for us and played with so much heart and determination.
"They show me so much through their actions and tonight, they showed me a lot."
In the fourth quarter, PM East moved the ball down the field and closed in on a potential game-tying threat.
However, the biggest play of the game ensued, as Dean Bumbulsky intercepted an Evan Fardella pass at the visitors' 45 and ran it in for the final score.
"Our defense played possessed tonight," senior running back Rob Getz said. "They played like animals and played as hard as they could tonight. We stopped the run and without a doubt, the defense stepped up huge for us tonight."
Early on in the game, though, it was the Bears' offense that generated momentum and the early lead.
In the first quarter, sophomore QB Brandon Leap connected with teammate Sekou Jones for a 33-yard scoring strike for the early lead. After the kick missed, the score stayed at 6-0 with five and a half left.
Moving ahead to the second, it was PV's turn again, as they put together a 67-yard, 11- play drive that resulted in a one-yard Bumbulsky dive. Andrew Romeo hauled in a Leap pass in the right corner for the two-pointer, making it 14-0 with just under four left before half.
That drive proved to be big, eating up five minutes of the clock and featured a 23-yard scamper by Bumbulsky and an 18-yard reception by Getz to set up the score.
"After our loss to (East Stroudsburg) South, it was so big for us to come out and get this win," Getz said. "This game meant the world to us and in our senior year, especially. We had a huge week, going in, so it was amazing."
In the beginning of the fourth frame, East showed their resolve, scoring on an eight-yard pass from Evan Fardella to Jake DeJohn, that cut the lead to 14-6 with 4:22 remaining.
However, the PV defense did their job and held off any other comeback attempts for the win.
Terwilliger knows what has to be done for next week and their showdown with the Mounties.
"They're at the top of the league, so we have to take care of the situation at hand," the coach said.
"We prepared all week for a good Pocono East team and this next week will be no different."