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Mission statements

Tri-Valley senior quarterback Shatik Smith scores one of his three rushing touchdowns to lead the Bears to their first win and league win of the season as they beat Pine Plains 54-27.

By Richard A. Ross
September 20, 2012

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — “The past is history, the future a mystery and the present is a gift,” goes the adage. For teams that experienced varying degrees of success as well as for those that never won a game, this year’s mission is to be markedly more successful. Making it to the postseason is the goal for established programs, while learning the basics and improving from game to game is uppermost for those who have had little or no prior success.

Locally in football, an interesting clash was shaping up prior to this past weekend between neighboring Class D Eldred and Class C Sullivan West. Both teams came in at 2-0. Eldred had dominated Livingston Manor and Fallsburg, scoring nearly 100 points in the process while allowing none. Traveling to Sullivan West on September 14, the Yellow Jackets and their coach Patrick Kean figured to have their first real acid test. They hoped to knock off the Bulldogs en route to returning the program to its former dominance, which has abated over the past few years.

The Bulldogs, who had beaten stronger foes in Chester and Liberty, had ideas of their own, namely to remain undefeated and to school the Yellow Jackets in the rigors of hard-nose football. This was far from the clash of the titans. Sullivan West trounced Eldred 56-6 to improve to 3-0.

From the opening kickoff, wherein Eldred fumbled the ball thereby setting up Jared Meola’s 17-yard TD run a minute into the game, followed by Michael Sedlack’s PAT, Eldred missed some early chances and then played back on its heels to the rapacious Dawgs, who scored on them seemingly at will. The Westies put the kibosh on Eldred QB Anthony Margarum, who has a great arm but was harried, rushed and sacked, eventually giving way to his younger replacement, Hunter Kolvenbach. Meanwhile, Sullivan West senior QB Sawyer Erwein would score two rushing TDs, while passing for two more scores. The Bulldogs held a 13-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. Andrew Stabbert’s five-yard TD pass reception opened the second quarter. A conversion pass to Cody Franskevicz for made it 21-0. A 34-yard screen pass to Brian Stauch widened the margin to 27-0. Forcing a safety netted two more points and set up a short field for Erlwein, who raced 20 yards to the house. Sedlack added the PAT. Meola returned a kickoff 45 yards for another score and Sedlack split the uprights again. Travis Roeder would race 24 yards and Sedlack rounded the score to 50-0 before Eldred’s Julian Gottlieb raced 37 yards against the back up Dawgs. Stabbert’s two-yard run ended the rout at 56-6.