Urrea’s big night fuels Cusumano’s first career win

Urrea records all seven of PV’s touchdowns en route to first victory of season

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Olivia Jones

Matt Urrea (14) carrying the ball. He rushed for 312 yards and six touchdowns as PV beat Demarest 48-42 on Friday night.

Jake Aferiat, Sports Editor

(Editor’s note: The stats were reviewed and the necessary updates have been made)

Few teams score seven touchdowns in a game. Pascack Valley, however, had them all come from one player—Matt Urrea.

“I’m extremely honored to be Matt’s coach” said Pascack Valley’s head football coach Len Cusumano.

Luckily for the Indians (1-5), those seven touchdowns were enough to give Cusumano a 48-42 win, the first of his career, at Demarest (4-2) on Friday night.

Cusumano, while happy, was quick to deflect praise or any mention of personal accolades.

“It’s not about me, it’s about the boys,” he said. “We just wanted to get over the hump and get the first win for the kids.”

Urrea put together a stat line that is reminiscent of a video game. He finished with 39 carries for 312 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns, coupled with 100 passing yards and one touchdown in the air, for a total of 412 all purpose yards.

But he too was quick to deflect praise.

“I owe every yard that I gained today to the offensive line,” he said. “In the second half, there were like three touchdowns where I wasn’t even touched. They stepped it up.”

However, the offensive showing for both sides took time to get going.

PV scored first with 3:12 left in the first quarter to go up 7. Demarest then broke the tie with 10:48 left in the second, scoring on first and goal and converting on the two-point conversion to go up 8-7.

Those would be the only points of the first half for either team, as there were five punts between the two teams to end the half.

Then, after halftime, the floodgates opened.

PV’s first series out of the halftime break resulted in an outside handoff by Urrea that was taken 26 yards for a score, and a reclaiming of the lead for PV.

The Indians’ second lead of the game didn’t last for long either, as Demarest, on its own 29 yard line, went 71 yards down the field to score. A missed extra point resulted in a 15-14 lead for PV.

Eventually, the Norsemen clawed their way back to make it a 28-28 game, but Urrea was just too much to handle.

His versatility was on full display when he found Kyle Alvarado for a 43 yard touchdown pass with 21 seconds remaining in the third quarter to put PV up 35-28. After that, PV’s lead was safe.

Or so it seemed.

Demarest, down 48-42 and on the PV 48 yard line,  was sacked with no time remaining and it appeared that the game was over. But, the officials deemed that four seconds were to be put back on the clock.

What happened next can only be described as incredible.

The Norsemen snap the ball, but facing pressure from PV’s defensive line, choose to go for a screen pass behind the line of scrimmage. Then, under pressure again, Demarest threw a lateral and continued to do so,  getting all the way inside the red zone, before PV finally made the defensive stop to end the game.

“I just held my breath,” said Cusumano. “Sometimes it can’t be that easy.”

Cusumano is right. In his case, the road to victory has not been easy, having faced teams like Old Tappan, Wayne Hills, River Dell and Ramapo to start the season.

“We were challenged the first five games,” he said. “But it’s a midway point and whether you’re 0-5 or 5-0, team’s have got to rise to the occasion and our boys did tonight.”

Urrea also dispelled any rumors that the Indians are done or that they are giving up.

“We’re still a Pascack Valley team and there’s a certain work ethic that goes along with the name across our chest,” he said. “We’re not ever going to give that up and we’re not going to quit on our season.”