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Resurgent Bears on the prowl

A new coach, energy and drive fuel overpowering win over Onteora 

Richard Ross
Posted 9/14/21

Tri-Valley   36

Onteora       6

GRAHAMSVILLE –– There’s a change in the wind and the warnings are up.

Be wary of Bears, the Tri-Valley version thereof. …

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Resurgent Bears on the prowl

A new coach, energy and drive fuel overpowering win over Onteora 

Posted

Tri-Valley   36

Onteora       6

GRAHAMSVILLE –– There’s a change in the wind and the warnings are up.

Be wary of Bears, the Tri-Valley version thereof. They’re coming to a neighborhood near you. As Thin Lizzy’s song informs: “The Boys Are Back in Town,” reminiscent of that halcyon time when the Bears won the Section 9 title in 2018 and just missed another the subsequent year. Now under the watchful eye of first-year head coach Kevin Crudele and veteran defensive guru John Allison, T-V figures to be in the title hunt once again. Tri-Valley was a young team a year ago in two-time Sulllivan County Coach of the Year Greg Botsford’s swan song season, and they took their lumps. But now, as demonstrated by their convincing 36-6 non-league win over Onteora, this team means business. Crudele, a veteran of Marlboro football, brings a fresh perspective to the fore. Allison’s prowess as a defensive genius is already legendary. With junior quarterback Austin Hartman defying the laws of gravity with his elusive and powerful running, coupled with the explosiveness of Dylan Poley in the backfield, Tri-Valley used this win over Onteora almost like a scrimmage since they weren’t able to play at last week’s warm up at SW. For a first-time live action, it looked more like a team in stride rather than one just trying its fledgling wings. Onteora only brought 13 players to the game. Issues with eligibility etc, were responsible for the thin troops. Still, football is football, and that fact does not diminish the value of T-V’s emphatic opening statement.

T-V won the toss and elected to defer. Forcing a quick three and out by Onteora showed the logic of that. Then on their second offensive play, Poley busted loose for a 51-yard TD gallop. The PAT went awry but the Bears would show their kicking prowess later on in other PAT’s and a field goal. Onteora’s offense was stymied again, leading to yet another punt. A telling sign of T-V’s dominance was their having to punt just once in the game. This time it took three plays before Hartman galloped 35 yards to make it 12-0. A PAT by Zach Kitaychik made it 13-zip with 6:29 still to go in the first stanza. The quarter ended with that score still in place. Great runs by Hartman gobbled up yardage, but Onteora caused a stall with fourth and four at the four-yard line. Kitaychik’s 24-yard field goal with 8:25 left in the half made it 16-0. It cannot be overstated what the value of a kicker can be. Locally, field goals are as rare as hen’s teeth. This extra weaponry on PAT’s and field goals will figure into outcomes this season. Take that to the bank. Onteora’s struggles continued as they kept having to give the ball right back. Poley flipped his way into the endzone from the one-yard line with 4:15 to go to give the Bears a 22-0 lead. Kitaychik split the uprights for the bonus and T-V headed into the halftime with a 23-0 lead. Brian Kelly returned the opening kickoff for 30 yards and Hartman took the first snap and dashed 55-yards for his second TD. T-V now led 29-0. Finally, with 6:20 remaining in the third quarter, Onteora got on the board with a four-yard run from Adam Williams. The conversion attempt failed. T-V added to their lead with an eight-yard TD run by Hartman with 11:32 to go in the game. A prior TD run by the diminutive dynamo was called back on a block in the back penalty. It was a highlight reel run with Hartman breaking and eluding tackles in a modern day re-enactment of one evinced by the “Gallloping Ghost,” nee Red Grange, the iconic football legend from the University of Illinois and the Chicago Bears.

Crudele was very pleased with the effort except for having to call players out for special teams. Expect that glitch to last less than a minute. “We have younger guys and some change in offense but what’s important is ingrained in them from Coach Botsford and Coach Allison. I tell the team all the time, we have huge depth and great potential.”

Tri-Valley has its work cut out for it as they head to take on the defending champion Pawling Tigers next week. Pawling handily defeated Roscoe this week as they did last spring in the title game. That will also be a non-league tilt. The following week T-V will host arch-rival Sullivan West for what could be the Division title though it is far too early to be sure of such.

In the interim, a reminder to T-V’s rivals: Heed the winds of change and watch out for the incursion of Bears lest ye be mauled by the Orsines’ designs to shine.

Tri-Valley Stats

Total Offense (all rushing) 37/316 yards; 16 first downs; 3rd down conversions: 2/7 (28.6%); 4th down conversions: 2/3 (66%).

Rushing: Austin Hartman 13/189 with 3 TD’s; Dylan Poley 11/60 with 2 TD’s

Defense: Tackles: Poley 6.5; Doug Frey 4.5; Hartman 4 and Brian Kelly 3

Field Goal: Zach Kitaychik

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