Panthers outscore Norsemen 37-20

Valley+takes+on+Cranford+in+the+semifinals+in+the+sectional+state+tournament.+

Valley takes on Cranford in the semifinals in the sectional state tournament.

Robert Colletti and Noah Silver

At 6 p.m. on Friday night, the Panthers took on the Northern Valley Demarest Norsemen at home. It was the last home game for PV as the team will finish off the regular season with two away games against Paramus and Ramsey. 

Valley’s fans did not disappoint as the game’s theme was a pink out for breast cancer awareness. Spectators could feel the energy throughout the field.

Demarest threw a 75 yard touchdown on the first play of scrimmage by quarterback Andrew Argenziano to uncovered Sean Vadis. 

Captains Nick Messina and Steven Demboski kept the team in check after going down early. 

“It all starts with [Messina and Demboski. They provide] great leadership and [so do] the rest of the seniors. They continue to step up along with our other guys on offense and defense.””

— Coach Len Cusumano

Argenziano ended the game with 189 passing yards and 2 passing touchdowns. His main target throughout the game was wide receiver Karan Khemlani as he had 9 receptions for 87 yards to go along with a receiving touchdown. 

“We knew after that first touchdown that it was the only play they were going to get,” Messina said. 

PV went down early but was not discouraged by the long touchdown pass as they drove back down the field for a 19 yard receiving touchdown by Captain Nick Messina. 

“We showed some resilience there in the beginning. [To] give credit to Demarest, they came out to play, but our guys showed resilience again today and gave us the win,” Cusumano said.

In the second quarter, Ethan Silcher handed the ball off to Messina up towards the middle. Messina bolted and flew by defenders for the 52 yard touchdown. 

Messina finished the game with 28 carries, 181 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 2 receptions for 27 yards, and a receiving touchdown. Silcher finished the game with 72 passing yards to go along with 2 touchdown passes. 

The first quarter ended with Valley leading 7-6; however, the Norsemen were pinned deep into their own territory. Argenziano muffed the snap, causing the ball to roll into the endzone for a safety. 

Silcher was out with a torn ACL last season and after taking a hit in the middle of the third quarter, he was on the ground.  With Silcher appearing to be in a little bit of pain, the athletic trainer came onto the field to help him. 

“I was just cramping up. [I wasn’t] worried because I tore my ACL last year, so I was good,” Silcher said. 

Early in the third quarter, Valley was a touchdown away from icing the game. On a 4th and goal Silcher threw a fade towards the corner of the endzone for wide receiver Dylan Hutchinson. Hutchinson leaped in the air to catch the ball over two defenders and came down with the catch to give Valley the touchdown.

Late in the third quarter, Argenziano threw a slant across the middle which was picked off by Nick Savariego and returned to the house for a pick-six.

“We work on [fade routes] in practice all the time. It works and [I] knew he could go up and get it,” Silcher said.

The Panthers will play their next game at Paramus High School on Friday at 6 p.m.