Valley triumphs over Wayne Hills in overtime thriller

Defensive battle throughout the whole game


Matt Austin

Ethan Silcher throws his hands up in celebration after Valley win in overtime.

Ethan Perlman and Aidan Burke

Pascack Valley edged out a victory against Wayne Hills in an overtime thriller with a score of 13-7. Although the game was separated by a touchdown, the game was won on defense, with Valley making key stops and plays on the defensive side of the ball. 

Steven Demboski and Nick Bruzzi led the way with their interior defense, with Demboski having 2 sacks. Middle linebacker Nick Messina also made key plays on defense, keeping Valley in the game.

“We [wanted] to battle with [Wayne Hills],” Demboski said. “We knew they were a tough team, but we knew that whoever came in tougher would come out on top.”

With 1:20 left in the 4th quarter, Nick Savariego made a key interception in Wayne Hills’ end zone, keeping the game knotted at 7 apiece and forcing the game to go into overtime. 

Although Wayne Hills put together some offensive drives, they were unable to follow through and put points on the board. Running back, John Sees, finished with 131 yards, and quarterback Joseph Riina had 80 yards with 1 passing touchdown and 2 interceptions.

Dylan Hutchinson made some key plays on both sides of the ball, including a first possession interception and a touchdown off of the Panthers’ 4th down trick play. Hutchinson finished with 1 interception and 1 touchdown.

As a result of pass interference on Ethan Silcher, Wayne Hills was given the opportunity to make a field goal with no time left in the game. However, Wayne Hills muffed the snap and never got the field goal off. 

Valley did lean more heavily on the pass in the first half; however, Messina still had 108 yards and 1 rushing touchdown and 1 passing touchdown.

Valley struck first off of a trick play which had Messina throwing a touchdown to Hutchinson for the first score of the game. 

During overtime, Valley got the ball first, starting on Wayne Hills’ 25, and scored with a 4-yard TD run by Nick Messina. 

“[The touchdown] felt great. At first, I did not know if it was a touchdown because it was close, but once I heard [the crowd] screaming, I was psyched,” Messina said. “I had so much faith in our defense [to stop them] and they showed out.”

Wayne Hills was stopped by Valley and went 4 and out, deeming Valley the winners. Emotions flowed and the win was celebrated by both the team and the fans.

Valley’s home crowd did not disappoint, with many fans showing their green in support of Valley. 

With this win, Valley moves to 4-2 on the season. The Panthers look to continue their winning ways at the home game next Friday against Northern Valley Demarest, which is Valley’s senior night game.