Bears take down Huskies
Bob Ford/TIMES NEWS Pleasant Valley's Brandon Leap tries to elude Maverick Mercer of Dieruff.
Shootouts are something that Pleasant Valley coach Jim Terwilliger is used to.
He was, after all, a record setting quarterback at East Stroudsburg University and has brought offensive fireworks to Brodheadsville on Friday nights during his tenure.
Terwilliger and the Bears didn't disappoint on Friday night, racking up 470 yards of offense to outlast Dieruff and earn a 51-34 win in Pleasant Valley's Mountain Valley Conference opener.
"I love the pulse of this football team and I believe that the foundation of this group has a lot of heart," Terwilliger said. "They played down a bunch in this game and never gave up; the resolve through the first, second, third and fourth quarters…
"We were down and up and it was a wild game. But I really love the effort and attitude of the team. When the chips were down, I thought these guys played harder. This was a good game for us."
It was a good game for quarterback Brandon Leap in particular. The senior may have only completed nine passes, but six went for touchdowns. Leap also had a 22-yard touchdown run to ice the game.
"Brandon grew up a little bit in this game," Terwilliger said. "There was a point in this game where he was in bad shape. After he threw that interception in the first half it could have gone either way.
"But the young man put the stake in the ground and blazed a trail and he led us. He took a step in my book; he grew up and he led this football team to a tremendous first victory. This was on Brandon; that's what he can do for our team."
After trailing 17-14 at halftime, the Bears came out firing in the second half, outscoring the Huskies 34-13 over the final two quarters.
But there was no fiery speech from Terwilliger or Leap in the locker room. The Bears simply went out and executed.
"We struggled blocking last week, that's an absolute guarantee," Leap said. "This week, our five guys up front just came out with a different sort of heart.
"We were running up the middle and getting yards; running outside and getting yards; throwing and we're getting yards. It was all on our linemen. They played their hearts out."
The win reestablishes Pleasant Valley as an offensive juggernaut in the MVC, something was an uncertainty after a 31-9 loss to Nazareth last week.
"Every game is a stepping stone," Leap said. "From Nazareth to this, every game we play. Everything is going to help us learn and get better as we go on in the season. We have a really good team, so hopefully we can just stick together."
For Terwilliger, it's still about heart and work ethic when it comes to how far this team can go.
"We might not be the biggest, the strongest or the fastest, but these guys will work and we will play for four quarters and we will give great effort," Terwilliger said. "This was a good first step for this football team.
"This was a step in the right direction and step number one. We have a lot to improve on but I know the pulse of this football team and we'll get it done."