The Smoke Signal

Indians prepared for rivalry matchup

Valley looks to beat Old Tappan for first time since 2014

Noah Schwartz, Sports Editor

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Pascack Valley at Northern Valley Old Tappan

When: Friday Sep. 28, 6 p.m.

Location: Northern Valley Old Tappan High School

2018 Records:

Pascack Valley: 2-1

Old Tappan: 2-2

 

While Pascack Valley comes into its week 4 game with arch-rival Old Tappan with momentum after a 44-7 blowout win over Demarest last week, recent history shows that PV won’t be able to extend its winning streak. OT has beaten Valley three straight times, including a 44-6 drubbing last year.

On Friday night, the Indians will look to turn the tables on the Golden Knights.

“[Old Tappan has] been a tremendous rival over the years… they’ve had our number for quite some time. We need to focus on the present and on what we need to do, ” PV coach Len Cusumano said.

Offensively, Valley looks to have a similar approach as it had last week, where the run game played a major role. Star tailback Jake Williams went for a career high 193 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns against Demarest, as he ran behind an experienced offensive line, led by seniors Andrew Demboski, Charlie Looes, Jesse Lagrossa, and Dylan Driscoll. Williams has gotten off to a strong start this season, as he has led the Indians with 310 yards, while racking up seven touchdowns.

“I thought the [line] got off ball well… And Jake Williams did a great job hitting the holes,” Cusumano said after last week’s contest.

While PV will continue to emphasize the running game, Valley could certainly use a bit more balance in its offensive attack. The Norsemen defense held the Indians passing game in check, as Stephen Begen threw for just 2 yards on 1 completion. Craig Moorehead was the only Indian to catch a ball last week, so PV may look to get its various pass-catching weapons chances to contribute.

Defensively, Pascack Valley will look to slow down an Old Tappan offense that was held to just 7 points last week against Ramapo, but scored 35 and 27 points in games earlier this year.

At quarterback, Drew Dippolito has dual-threat ability; the senior has thrown for 690 yards and rushed for 139 through four games. Despite the impressive numbers, Dippolito has proved to be a bit turnover prone, as he has thrown five interceptions to just six touchdown passes. Dippolito has a number of weapons to utilize in the passing game, including John Caracciolo (158 yards, 2 TD’s), Johnny Lohrer (313 yards, 2 TD’s), and Kevin Weis (74 yards). The versatile Lohrer and Chris D’Amico will handle most of the duties in the backfield.

Old Tappan, which entered the season as one of the best teams in North Jersey has struggled in recent weeks, dropping back-to-back contests to the top two teams in North Jersey, Wayne Hills and Ramapo.

Cusumano challenged his team to make a statement this week in a rivalry game. “When you’re in position to make a play, make sure you make the play. Just be consistent,” he said.

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About the Writer
Noah Schwartz, Sports Editor

Noah is in his fourth year as a member of The Smoke Signal, and is in his second year as the Sports Editor. Noah is excited to lead the sports department...

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