Pleasant Valley, Stroudsburg meet in another important Week 10 showdown

After two epic battles at the end of last season, Pleasant Valley hosts Stroudsburg with a subregional playoff berth at stake.

Jimmy Terwilliger is a diehard Red Sox fan. So, you know it's already been a good week for the Pleasant Valley football coach.

It can get even better if his Bears can beat visiting Stroudsburg tonight in the regular-season finale.

With a win, Pleasant Valley would guarantee itself a return visit to the District 2-4-11 Class 4A subregional.

There's a possibility that the loser in this game could still qualify for the subregional, too, but obviously, neither wants to take that chance.

"It's just neat to be playing Stroudsburg in Week 10 with a meaningful purpose," Terwilliger said. "We're approaching this as a must-win situation and that's the way it has been for a majority of the games this year. Our kids are real excited to play this one."

Terwilliger refuses to look ahead.

"We're not concerned at all about what happens afterward," he said. "We're focused only on Stroudsburg and want to execute our game plan, play to the best of our ability and let the chips fall where they may."

Both the Bears and Mounties enter at 7-2 overall and 6-1 in the league. Both have lost to East Stroudsburg South and also dropped nonleague games — PV to Nazareth in the season opener and Stroudsburg to Wyoming Valley West on Oct. 4.

The game marks a renewal of an intense rivalry that blossomed last year when the teams met in back-to-back weeks.

The first meeting, which was for the MVC title, was won by Stroudsburg 27-21.

The second encounter was just as exciting and went to the wire before Pleasant Valley prevailed on a late field goal, 24-21.

The fact that Jim Miller has replaced Joe Bernard as the Mounties' head coach hasn't altered the intensity of the rivalry, even if Stroudsburg has a different look from its teams that won back-to-back MVC titles.

"We're completely different and they're completely different," Terwilliger said. "They lost a lot of size and guys who went on to play college football and we lost a lot of size and guys who went on to play college football. Yet, the guys on both sides of the ball can still play the game. Stroudsburg's fast and they can run or throw it. They also play great defense."

Terwilliger said it's hard to evaluate his team's success to this point. Because of having back record-breaking quarterback Brandon Leap and running back Austyn Borre, who had a dazzling freshman year, many MVC observers pointed to the Bears as the team to beat back in August.

But they stumbled out of the gate against Nazareth, 31-9, and then won five straight before being overwhelmed by South, 30-14.

A win over Stroudsburg and a subregional playoff berth would fulfill the early-season promise.

"I don't ever smile until December," Terwilliger said. "Our goal after not having a great showing in Week 1 was to get better every day and our team has worked their tails off."

No matter, the hard-working Terwilliger likes the work ethic of his kids.

"Our kids love to compete," Terwilliger said. "We don't have a superstar on our team. These kids do it right in the classroom as well as on the football field."

This could be the seniors last game on their home field and that adds to the emotion of the night.





Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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