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Wednesday Morning Quarterback: Fourth quarter woes lead to PV loss

Begen shines, but PV held scoreless in final period

Spencer Goldstein, Sports Writer

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The crowd is excited for the game.

Wayne Hills (3-2) defeated Pascack Valley (1-4) 40-20 last Friday night, causing PV to fall to 1-4 on the year. The score is deceiving, however, as PV played very well for 3 quarters with the score being 20-20 at the end of the 3rd before the Indians were outscored 20-0 in the 4th.

One positive to take away from the game was the play of sophomore signal caller Stephen Begen, who played his best game of the year, totaling 104 passing yards to go along with 44 yards and a TD on the ground. Despite being intercepted twice, Begen played a very solid game overall.

PV Coach Len Cusumano was pleased by the growth that Begen has shown, especially at the line of scrimmage. He said, “We have no fear of throwing the ball. I thought Stephen did a good job of letting us know what he sees on the field.” 

Some other positives for PV include the group of players who stepped up and did well in larger roles. Sophomore Mike Gulino ran for a 60-yard TD at the end of the 3rd quarter to tie the game at 20-20. A few minutes prior, after an Indians penalty for roughing the punter, PV gave Wayne Hills the ball back after the defense made a key stop. Two plays later, Gulino came through and had a clutch sack on the quarterback, leading to another 4th down punt. PV also got contributions from a number of pass catchers that had not made much of an impact in previous games. Wide receiver Jack Ward and tight end James Della Pesca both played well, as each player caught 3 passes, Ward for 32 yards and Della Pesca for 30.

Junior Joe Campagna caught the first two passes of his varsity career on Friday. After playing quarterback for the varsity team a year ago, Campagna transitioned to wideout after Begen became the starting QB. He ran a couple of precise routes, and finished with 13 yards. 

Cusumano was happy with what he saw from Campagna in his first game at the position. He said, “We wanted to get Joe on the field. Joe is a strong athletic kid and he has very good hands, so why not put him at wide receiver.”

Possibly the most memorable play of the night came in the second quarter on a Wayne Hills 77-yard TD pass from QB Jaaron Hayek to WR Charles Njoku. While attempting to chase Njoku down, PV defender Stephen Soravilla took a shot from a Hills receiver, followed by a potential taunt. The PV coaching staff, as well as the players and fans, were livid that no flag was thrown, expressing their displeasure by yelling at the officials. Soravilla was hurt on the play, but he did return to action later on in the game.

Despite being visibly angered after the hit, PV coach Len Cusumano downplayed the incident during the postgame interview when asked about the play. He pointed out that if there was no breakdown in coverage over the middle of the field, the rest of the play would have never occurred.

He also mentioned, “You can’t nitpick out different calls that officials have to make,” Cusumano said. “You got to make the officials officiate, coaches coach and players play.”

PV will look to get back on track on Friday night when it hosts Demarest (4-2). The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Pascack Valley High School. The Indians defeated them last year by a score of 48-42. In that game, former Indian Matt Urrea ran for 6 TD’s and also threw for another score. 

 

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Wednesday Morning Quarterback: Fourth quarter woes lead to PV loss