Bears unable to weather Hurricanes
BETHLEHEM — Early in the season, football programs need to be able to handle the jitters and hopefully let their talent overcome any adversity that comes their way.
With the wealth of experience returning for Bethlehem Liberty’s John Truby, he knew his squad would be able to respond to any opening night nerves. The talented Hurricanes faced no adversity as they rolled to a 70-0 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference victory over Pleasant Valley.
Led by senior quarterback Dallas Holmes and plenty of other standout performances, Liberty came out of the gates firing on all cylinders.
“I was very excited with our execution overall and that’s the kind of effort you want to see in the first game and I thought our guys did a great job,” Truby said. “This was a nice win, but in this league, we are going have a lot of tough opponents coming our way. So we want to clean things up a bit, fix the mistakes we made, and keep getting better at what we’re good at.”
In the early stages of the contest, the ‘Canes displayed some of what they are good at by connecting on several key plays to put up two first quarter scores.
A two-yard run by Kareem Morrison and a 22-yard pass from Holmes to Kyle Jimenez put the hosts up early.
“Honestly, Dallas has been working his butt off for this moment,” Truby said. “He paid his dues, he earned his spot, and this year, he’s really done a nice job with Coach Schultz getting this offense going. He has improved tremendously as a leader and as a football player.”
Holmes added to his production in the second quarter, as he connected on scoring tosses to Kendrick Wesley and Rondell McNeil.
By the intermission, the Bears faced a huge hole, as they were down 42-0.
Out of the halftime break, with the mercy rule in effect, Pleasant Valley showed some grit as it moved the ball well.
The Bears got their initial first down of the game on their opening drive of the third frame, before sputtering deep in the Hurricanes’ territory. A 48-yard run by sophomore Robert Papaleo began the drive for the Bears. Strong runs by senior QB Jack Stephens got the Bears get to the ‘Canes’ 10 before they turned the ball over on downs.
“I saw a lot of heart and the kids fought and tried,” Pleasant Valley head coach Blaec Saeger said. “In the second half, we moved the football a little bit. We might have came up short, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort.”
Liberty took advantage of several PV mistakes to pile up more second half points. The Hurricanes turned two fumbles and a blocked punt into scores.
“This game is over and there’s nothing we can do about it now,” Saeger said. “We have nine more games in front of us and we will take one at a time. We have to watch film, improve, but if we dwell on this, it will snowball.
“So we’re going focus on Allen next week and that’s all that matters.”
DEFENSE MATTERS ...Liberty’s offense was extremely potent, but more impressive was its defense. The Hurricanes forced five turnovers and consistently turned the PV miscues into scoring opportunities.
DAS BOOT ... The special teams of Liberty were also impressive as Sander Sahaydek and Ethan Ferry pounded kickoffs, punts and PATs. Sahaydek’s kickoffs produced four touchbacks, and the duo combined for a perfect 10-for-10 on points after scores.
WHAT A SHOW ...The Liberty marching band was phenomenal, putting on one of the best performances this writer has ever seen. If you get a chance, see them.