The Game At A Glance: Pascack Valley scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to defeat DePaul, 33-28, in a game that saw six lead changes.
First Half Highlights: On the first play from scrimmage, Jaleel Felton intercepted for Pascack Valley on their 39 yard line. The following play, Kyle Schneider found Chris Garcia on a screen pass for 21 yards. After an offsides penalty on DePaul, Schneider found Kevin Illian on another screen for 32 yards down to the 3. Garcia scored on the following play to put the Indians in front, 6-0. DePaul came right back on a ten play, 65 yard drive that consumed four minutes. They scored when Stephen Speidel scored from five yards out and the Spartans were in front, 7-6. Valley came right back on the second play of the drive when Schneider connected on another screen for a 68 yard score to grab the lead, 12-7. DePaul then went on a thirteen play drive that covered 69 yards and nearly seven minutes. Joe Moreno carried nine times for 49 yards on the drive and he scored from the five, enabling the Spartans to go in front 14-12, less than a minute into the second quarter.
DePaul went on a five minute drive, but a 28 yard field goal attempt failed. Valley went 80 yards, with Schneider completing all four of his passes, connecting with Nick Soravilla for a 13 yard score and his two point conversion pass to Illian put the Indians back in front, 20-14 with a minute and a half left in the half. DePaul moved the ball and had a first down on the Valley 22, but a fourth down pass was intercepted by Billy Beattie with twelve seconds left.
Second Half Highlights: After a Pascack Valley punt, DePaul was on the move. They consumed eight minutes on a drive that included the Spartans recovering a fumbled punt return. Moreno carried eleven times and Speidel scored his second touchdown from the one yard line, putting DePaul back in front, 21-20 with three minutes left in the quarter.
Valley answered back, taking five and a half minutes on the ensuing drive. They went in front for good when Schneider found Beattie in the end zone for 12 yards and a 26-21 lead two minutes into the final quarter. Beattie also caught a key fourth down pass for a first down on the 7, two plays earlier. With five minutes left, DePaul started a drive on its 21, but lost the ball two plays later on a bad pitch to Moreno and Valley recovered on the 22. On fourth down from the 17, Schneider struck pay dirt when he hit Soravilla for a score and a 33-21 lead with two and a half minutes left. DePaul went down the field and cut the lead to 33-28 when Zach Bednarczyk found Riley Clark for a three yard score with 1:23 remaining. The onsides kick attempt was recovered by Valley and they proceeded to run out the clock.
Play Of The Game: The Schneider to Beattie score that put Pascack Valley up for good.
Game Balls: Schneider was 13 for 23 for 253 yards and three scores. Beattie had three receptions for 50 yards and a score, plus his interception at the end of the first half prevented DePaul from scoring.
For DePaul, Moreno was a workhorse, gaining 127 yards on 34 carried and one touchdown.
Pascack Valley head coach Craig Neilsen: â€œTheyâ€™re a good football team. Theyâ€™re 1-2 (going into the game), but look at who they lost to (Don Bosco and Paramus Catholic). We thought we could play with them. We preach to our kids to play together, to play as one. Things arenâ€™t always going to go your way in a game and they understand that. DePaul has a great pass rush and we tried to slow them down with the screen passes early on. We didn't have the success with it later in the game, but we still moved the ball.â€
Pascack Valley wide receiver Billy Beattie: â€œIt was a close game and we decided to throw the ball around. Kyle was throwing great passes, we spread the ball around, and we got it done. On the touchdown I caught, we were down by one point and Kyle threw a great pass to me. We were driving the ball down the field, and it was a great drive.â€
Pascack Valley quarterback Kyle Schneider: â€œThe early screen passes were working out and it was part of our game plan. We knew they were vulnerable to the screen. Later in the game, I trusted our defense and I believe in them. Once they make a stop or allow a score, we just go out and do our thing. When we were behind, we had confidence and weâ€™ve been in that situation before. We knew what we could do and we just executed.â€