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Friday, April 16, 2021

Sports > High School >> Football

Section 9 Eight-Man Football Semifinals:

Defiance! Tri-Valley vanquishes Number-One Seeded Pawling, 22-16

Nov 4, 2019

By Richard A. Ross - reporter/photographer

Tri-Valley junior quarterback Keegan Streimer takes off on a 35-yard TD jaunt. He added the two-point conversion early in the second quarter to tie the game at eight-all, but his epic day was far from over.
HYDE PARK- David strikes again.
Last week Tri-Valley slew Goliath, aka the Spackenkill Spartans in the Section 9 Eight-Man quarterfinals. One-week wonder? Nope. This week the Bears unleashed another rock, thereby vanquishing Goliath's bigger Brother, the Pawling Tigers -- the fourth ranked Eight-Man football team in the state -- as Tri-Valley's storied season moves on with a 22-16 victory in the Section IX Eight Man Semifinals.
Against all odds the defiant Bears are heading back to the Section 9 Eight-Man football championship game against division foe Ellenville, by virtue of one of the most improbable wins in this writer's bountiful archive of gridiron memories.
“I hate losing more than anything in the world,” said a jubilant Keegan Streimer, Tri-Valley's junior quarterback who once again snatched victory out of the jaws of defeat, leading his team to their most triumphant victory to date.

Sheer defiance and grit authored this victory which stunned Pawling, the Number-One seed in the Section 9 Eight-Man playoffs, and besmirched their undefeated season. A year ago, Pawling beat the Bears in overtime in a regular season clash to mar their then unblemished record. But this time it was Tri-Valley's turn to turn the tables in a game that mattered so much more than last years.
Against all the pundits' predictions that pointed to the graduation of fourteen Tr-Valley seniors and despite turning the ball over six times, Tri-Valley summoned immeasurable heart now forever engraved in the annals of school history, with a cathartic stop of Pawling's mobile senior quarterback Quinn Clowry on fourth and goal in the game's waning minutes.
On a day when Tri-Valley clearly was the better team and moved the ball at will, it faced an uphill battle against speedy, athletic Pawling abetted by five Tri-Valley fumbles in the first half. Yet in spite of that adversity, the Bears still managed to tie the game at 16-all when Streimer dashed five yards for his second touchdown of the game with one second remaining in the first half. Austin Hartman fought through a clinging clutch of tacklers to score the two-point conversion. That timely score was set up by Streimer's only completed pass of the day, a 37-yard completion to Colin Mickelson as the half ticked down to seconds remaining.
For fullback Ethan Shaver who would amass 154 yards on 26 carries but was stripped of the ball repeatedly, the sweetest of redemption came with 4:46 left in the game with a one-yard TD run that put the Bears ahead for the first time in the game. That TD was made possible by a Streimer one-handed interception of a Clowry pass at 10:41 of the fourth quarter. The Bears held mighty Pawling scoreless the entire second half with stalwart, relentless defense that reached its apex with the game's final stop.

The arc of the lethal rock…
Tri-Valley won the toss and elected to receive. Ripping off chunks of yardage on their opening drive they seemed unstoppable moving from their own 30 to the Tigers' 20 until the first fumble gave Pawling the ball. Four plays later Clowry galloped 69 yards with 7:54 remaining in the first quarter to draw first blood. Joe Furlong carried it in for the two-point conversion and Pawling led 8-0.
On the next T-V drive the improbable happened again, another T-V fumble, this time at the Pawling 27. But heart and character were in evidence from T-V's defense which effected a sack of Clowry on fourth down as T-V got the ball back on downs. The quarter expired with T-V still in possession of the ball.
Streimer authored two big runs on the drive, the second one being a 35-yard TD with 11:17 remaining in the second quarter. He punctuated the score with a two-point conversion and the Bears had knotted it at eight-all. Once again, the defense forced a three and out and Streimer, who seemed omnipresent in every facet of the game, blocked a punt at the Pawling 29.
Now T-V looked to go ahead but a fumble at the eight-yard line shocked the Bears. That shock turned to mortification when Clowry dashed 63 yards and added a two- point conversion for the 16-8 lead. T-V's fifth turnover came on its next drive, but the Bears got another stop. That led to Streimer's magical pass to Mickelson and his five-yard TD with one second to go. As noted, Hartman barreled in and the half ended with a miraculous deadlock. With Pawling slated to receive the ball to start the second half, the T-V coaching staff reassured their troops. “We're moving the football. They can't stop us. We just need to take better care of the ball.”
Jashua Roach batted down a Clowry pass and Pawling once again failed to maintain possession. The teams neutralized each other throughout the remainder of the quarter. Shaver thankfully recovered his own fumble and the Bears overcame a pair of holding penalties. Shaver carried it nobly to the six, Streimer to the one and Shaver bolted in for the lead.
The failed two-point conversion inspired Pawling to try for the late win. A short punt gave them the ball at the 50. They looked to be stopped but Clowry converted on a fourth down run to keep the drive alive. Nails were being bitten by the T-V onlookers as Pawling advanced closer and closer to the end zone. With a fourth down and goal at the 14, Clowrey was brought down and T-V was able to run out the clock for the win.
Gathered in the end zone to listen to their coaches' praises, the Bears knelt attentively. Assistant Coach Kevin Crudele, a Marlboro veteran summed it up this way. “We kind of pulled off a miracle the way we gave the ball away. We have some luck and I'll take luck anytime. I'm telling you, no one can beat you guys if you play quality football. You deserve to be in the title game.”
Defensive guru John Allison noted, “Fourteen seniors graduated and we're going back to the title game. No one gave us a chance or expected us to win more than a couple of games.”
Head Coach Greg Botsford told the team, “We truly believed that we could be even better than last year. We didn't' start out that way but in high school sports you always want to be playing your best when sectionals come around.” He joked that he was going to stop at the Dollar Store and buy out their supply of Stick-em to help hold onto the ball. Botsford added, “The heart was in the defense on that fourth down.”
Tri-Valley (6-2) will face Ellenville (6-2)in a rematch of their October 12 game won by the Blue Devils 22-20. Tri-Valley's compounded mistakes that day plus the loss of senior tackle Colby Costa led to the day's demise. Redemption in the form of back-to-back Section IX titles will be ample motivation for the Bears as they practice this week.
Number-two seeded Ellenville defeated Number-three seeded Pine Plains 30-14. An interesting turn of events, the heavyweight teams of Division Two, namely Spackenkill, Pawling and Pine Plains have all gone home. It was presumed that one of the three would win it all. Now it's Number four Tri-Valley and Ellenville left standing. Streimer has scored seven TD's in two playoff games and amassed 566 yards rushing despite the fact that two of the best defenses in the Eight-Man array schemed for him.
All of that begs the question:
“So David, Is there one more rock in that sling?”

Tri-Valley stats
Total offense: 387 yards on 61 plays. Yards per play 6.3. Passing 1/4/37. Penalties 2/20. Turnovers: six. Fumbles 8 (six lost). First downs: 23. First downs rushing: 20. Third down conversions 7/11 (63.6%). Fourth down conversions: 1/1. Rushing: Keegan Streimer: 27/180 with two TD's. 6.7 yards per carry. Ethan Shaver 26/154 with one TD. 5.9 yards per carry. Defense Ethan Shaver 7.5 tackles, Austin Hartman 5.5, Keegan Streimer 5.5, Devin Mullen 5, Jashua Roach 4.5.

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