Indians set to play sectional quarterfinals

Valley to host Demarest Friday night in the North 1, Group 3 playoffs

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Indians set to play sectional quarterfinals

Jake Williams runs past defenders

Jake Williams runs past defenders

Matt Austin

Jake Williams runs past defenders

Matt Austin

Matt Austin

Jake Williams runs past defenders

BJ McGrane, Sports Editor

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“Our second season starts now,” PV football coach Len Cusumano said after the Indians’ loss to Ramapo.

Cusumano was ready to look ahead to the playoffs after Valley came up short against Ramapo in its final game of the regular season. Since then, the Indians have had a week off, allowing them to prepare for their upcoming matchup on Friday at home against Demarest in the first round of the North 1, Group 3 state sectional tournament.

“[Having a week off] allows us to self-evaluate,” Cusumano said. “It gives [players] time to heal up, which is one of the most important things.”

Released on Sunday was the North 1, Group 3 playoff bracket, having the Indians (6-3) seeded third, which means they will be taking on the sixth-seeded Demarest (6-2) in their first round matchup.

“We’re happy with where we landed [in the seeding],” Cusumano said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to play at home in our first round game.”

PV is no stranger to playing against Demarest, as the two teams are set to face off for the fifth time in the last four years. The Indians have a record of 3-1 in their previous four games against Demarest. Cusumano does not believe that Valley’s familiarity with the Norsemen gives it an edge in this Friday night’s game.

“It’s neither an advantage nor a disadvantage,” Cusumano said. “[Demarest] is still going to be competitive. They’re well coached, and we know they’re going to give us their best shot.”

Since falling to Valley early on this season, Demarest has been on a roll, winning four out of its last five games. Led by sophomore quarterback Andrew Argenziano, the Norsemen offense has scored an average of 40.5 points in those four games.

“[Demarest] has improved,” Cusumano said. “They have some pretty [talented] players.”

Earlier this season, however, Demarest was only able to put up 18 points while giving up 48 in a blowout loss to the Indians. In the loss, Argenziano was able to complete 52.6% of his passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. The quarterback did some damage on the ground as well, rushing for a touchdown on one of his six carries.

In its losing effort against Valley, Demarest’s offense had no shortage of big plays, one being a 70-yard touchdown run from senior running back Ben Marinaccio, as well as a 55-yard touchdown pass from Argenziano to senior wide receiver Jake Benishay.

The Indians had their way offensively the last time these two teams met, scoring seven total touchdowns, four coming from senior Jake Williams.

If the Indians are able to defeat the Norsemen, they will advance to the sectional semifinals against the winner of the matchup between Rahway (2) and Garfield (7).

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