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Home is where the heart is

T-V punctuates Homecoming to stay unbeaten in league

Richard A. Ross
Posted 10/11/22

GRAHAMSVILLE – “These are the days, you’ll remember. Never before and ever since, I promise, will the whole world seem warm as this.”  

So aptly intone the lyrics of …

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Home is where the heart is

T-V punctuates Homecoming to stay unbeaten in league


GRAHAMSVILLE – “These are the days, you’ll remember. Never before and ever since, I promise, will the whole world seem warm as this.” 

So aptly intone the lyrics of the song “These Are the Days,” by Ten Thousand Maniacs. For the Tri-Valley Bears and their legion of adoring fans, this past Saturday was unquestionably one of those days to remember. This year’s Homecoming, first cast the spotlight on the 12 seniors: Austin Hartman, Chris Russo, Josh Carmody, Zach Kitaychik, Talan Scanna, Danny Winters, Ian Mullen, Dylan Poley, Collin Mentnech, Zach Miller and Diego Estrada-Ruiz. They were all individually lauded by Coach Kevin Crudele. Their beloved families, some featuring relatives who had traveled long distances, posed proudly with each senior game prior to the ensuing 44-14 league victory over Fallsburg. 

Perhaps for the last time in the seniors’ memorable careers, the storied field, the centerpiece of the Iatauro Sports Complex, served as the locale in this special season wherein the Bears have been unbeaten in both league play and on their own hallowed gridiron. Pending the Bears’ performance over the next two weeks, there is a possibility that they could host a home playoff game if they remain successful in league play. Time will tell. One thing is becoming clearer each week: this team is on a mission and the Fallsburg Comets were to become the latest victim of that championship aspiration. 

For the second week in a row, senior quarterback Austin Hartman, already consecutively dubbed the Times Herald Player of the Week, convincingly proved that he is the turbo charged engine of this team with his four rushing TD’s and an epic 64-yard strike to Ian Mullen.  His weaving runs and evasion of tackles is a sight to behold. But lest one view him only for his offensive prowess, he showed his moxie in tackling and went airborne to snatch a Fallsburg pass for an interception. 

This was a total team effort with each player executing exactly what the coaching staff told him to do in the days leading up to the fray. Fallsburg, which is a talented and tough outfit, was missing QB Andrew Rein, Jr, and that meant that the signal calling would fall to Isaiah Young as well as Mateo Scanna. They played nobly with Scanna scoring both Comets’ TD’s. The Comets used a fake PAT to convert a pass to tall tree Eugene Johnson on the first of those. 

As for the Bears, this game was an exemplar of great defense coupled with offensive firepower. Defensively they pursued well, and gang tackled. Offensively with Hartman, Poley and Mullen, they moved the ball at will with Hartman breaking through for TD runs of 29 yards, 13 yards, 25 yards and 34 yards. His 64-yard completion to Mullen iced the day and clearly made him a candidate for yet another Player of the Week nomination. 

With Poley and Mullen providing their patented tough runs up the middle, the Comets had their work cut out for them trying to limit their advances. Poley notched a five-yard TD to add to the tally. 

Fallsburg Coach Dom Scanna put things simply, “We got beat. We didn’t play well and that’s on me. I didn’t prepare the team adequately.” 

Crudele addressed his team in the end zone after the game with a mixture of unbridled praise and gratitude, coupled with an admonition about the work that lies ahead. With a gritty, improving Eldred game ahead on October 14, the Bears begin a two-week road sojourn that will conclude with a possible Division Title wrangle with equally unbeaten Sullivan West, this one being their Homecoming. 

Pending a victory over Livingston Manor/Roscoe on the same night as T-V’s Eldred fray, the two unbeaten league squads will square off for not only the Division title, but for a superior seed in the upcoming Eight-Man football playoffs. SW is the defending Division I champ. Tri-Valley is now 4-1 (3-0), while Fallsburg falls to 2-2 (1-2).

T-V stat line: Total offense 398 yards on 36 plays for an 11.1 yards per play average. Passing: Hartman 1/1/64 yards and a TD. Rushing: 34 yards on 33 carries for a 10.1 yards per carry average. The Bears incurred nine penalties for 76 yards. They had 17 first downs, converted two of five third downs and one of three fourth downs. Hartman led the way in rushing with 14/162 and four TD’s. He averaged 11.8 yards per carry. Poley was 10/89 (8.9 ypc), Mullen was 7/61 (8.7 ypc) and Kitaychik was 2/22 (11 ypc). Poley led the way defensively with 10.5 tackles. Mullen had 6.5 tackles, Danny Winters had six tackles and Talan Scanna registered 5.5 tackles. 

Fallsburg stat line: Total offense 178 yards via 45 plays (4 yards per play). Passing 5/7 for an average of 7.4 yards per pass. 15 first downs, 3/8 conversion on third down, 1 of four on fourth down. Rushing: Isaiah Young 15/105 (7.0), Ethan Dunn 6/20 (3.3). Defensive leader: Lukas Zelaya with 8.5 tackles.


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