The Smoke Signal

Pascack Valley makes playoffs as No. 8 seed

After some confusion, Indians eek into North 1, Group 3 Playoffs

Greg+Zoll+looks+for+room+to+run+against+Ramapo+in+Week+4.++Pascack+Valley+will+face+Ramapo+in+the+first+round+of+the+North+1%2C+Group+3+Playoffs+on+Friday.
Greg Zoll looks for room to run against Ramapo in Week 4.  Pascack Valley will face Ramapo in the first round of the North 1, Group 3 Playoffs on Friday.

Greg Zoll looks for room to run against Ramapo in Week 4. Pascack Valley will face Ramapo in the first round of the North 1, Group 3 Playoffs on Friday.

Curstine Guevarra

Curstine Guevarra

Greg Zoll looks for room to run against Ramapo in Week 4. Pascack Valley will face Ramapo in the first round of the North 1, Group 3 Playoffs on Friday.

Josh DeLuca, Sports Editor

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Following Pascack Valley’s regular season finale on Saturday, a 14-9 loss in Bergenfield, the fate of the team was still up in the air.  The team would play another game, that was for sure.  However, the significance of that game was still yet to be determined: a first-round playoff game or a consolation game.

“We will see until tonight,” Pascack Valley Coach Len Cusumano said regarding his team’s playoff status following Saturday afternoon’s game.

The Indians entered play on Saturday tied with Jefferson for the eighth and final playoff spot in North 1, Group 3 with 72 power points. Teams earn power points based off of their wins and losses, but can also earn residual power points based on the play of their previous opponents.  Thus, when Pascack Valley concluded its regular season play, it had to wait on the outcomes of other games across the tri-state area.

Although the official playoff brackets were not to be released until Sunday by the NJSIAA, once action around the state had concluded on Saturday, multiple news organizations made their projections, concluding that Pascack Valley had missed out on the playoffs.

For awhile, it appeared as if the Pascack Valley Indians had played their last meaningful downs of football in 2017 and missed out on the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

However, shortly thereafter, word spread around social media that the projections were incorrect, and Pascack Valley had made the playoffs after all.  The news organizations contacted their sources, who quickly corrected themselves, noting that Pascack Valley indeed had make the playoffs.

Pascack Valley (2-7) and Jefferson (4-4) did end the season tied with 72 power points.  As a result, the NJSIAA enacted its strength of schedule tiebreaker, calculating Valley’s strength of schedule to 76 and Jefferson’s to 57.  Valley earned a residual power point thanks to New Canaan’s win in its eighth game of the season.

As a result of winning the tiebreaker, the Indians clinched the No. 8 seed in North 1, Group 3 and will face No. 1 Ramapo (7-2) in the first game of the playoffs on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at Ramapo High School in Franklin Lakes.  The first-round matchup will be the first playoff game of Cusumano’s young head coaching career, after Valley missed out on the postseason a year ago.

When Indians and Raiders faced off in Week 4, Rampao blew out Pascack Valley 44-8.  In that game, Raiders’ quarterback AJ Wingfield beat up on Valley’s defense for 199 passing yards, 81 rushing yards, and 5 total touchdowns. 

Elsewhere in North 1, Group 3, No. 2 River Dell will host No. 7 Paramus, No. 3 Demarest will host No. 6 Dwight-Morrow, and No. 4 Sparta will host No. 5 Bergenfield.  Pascack Valley lost to all of the North 1, Group 3 playoffs teams that they faced this season: Ramapo, River Dell, Demarest, and Bergenfield.  They did not play Paramus, Dwight-Morrow, or Sparta.

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Pascack Valley makes playoffs as No. 8 seed