PV to take on Spartans in season finale

Pascack Valley football to host Paramus in season finale

Noah Silver, Assistant Sports Editor

Coming off a 7-2 loss to River Dell, Valley will look to bounce back against Paramus at home on Friday night. Both teams come into the game with a losing record, as Paramus’ record is 3-4 and Valley’s record is 2-3. This marks the season finale for both teams, as each aims to get to .500.

“These guys deserve to go out on top,” Head Coach Len Cusumano said.

Paramus is coming off its biggest win in terms of point differential as it took down Paterson Kennedy by a score of 42-0 last Friday. Outside of Paramus’ latest success, its quarterback, Sophomore Cory Petruzella has struggled with turnovers this season, coming in with 9 interceptions in addition to his totals of 831 passing yards and 273 rushing yards. The Spartans’ leading rusher, Ibraheim Habeeh, has 556 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns.

“[We have to make] sure we play sound football on defense,” Cusumano said. “[Make] sure everyone’s doing their part [and that] we’re not having any disruptions in the secondary.”

In recent weeks, PV’s defense has certainly done its part, allowing no more than one score in each game since its opening matchup against Ramapo.

Offensively, Pascack Valley has struggled recently, scoring just once in its last two games combined.

“When the opportunities are there to make plays, [we have to] make sure everyone does their job,” Cusumano said. “We are one missed block here, one missed assignment there [away from] breaking a lot of those plays into touchdowns.”

Quarterback Zach Traina comes into the game with 408 passing yards on the season, 49 of which came last week. Leading Valley’s backfield is Mike Solazzo, who has 395 yards and 3 touchdowns on the season.

With Friday night’s contest marking the last game of the season for Valley, it poses as a huge moment for the team’s seniors, as many of them will be stepping on the field for the final time.

“[Going out with a win] means the world to these guys,” Cusumano said. “We can’t thank [the seniors] enough for what they have done in the past four years and the leadership they’ve shown this year has been outstanding. Hopefully our younger players will remember that and understand what it takes for them to rise up [in a] leadership role in the coming years. We all owe a great deal of respect to our senior class.”

Cusumano acknowledged the challenge his seniors took on this year as, due to the pandemic, this was a season like no other.

“Just the perseverance and resilience that every class – our seniors right down to our freshmen – has shown [has been impressive],” Cusumano said. “It has been a historical moment for all of us – not only in our school but in the state of New Jersey as well. We’re very grateful to the powers that be to allow us to have a season this year, we’re very grateful for that opportunity. Rising up to the occasion [has been really important] – we really rose up as a team and a school district and did the best we can within the current circumstances.