Team VH Insider
Demarest vs Pascack Valley
Game Of The Week
Demarest got some revenge from a last-season loss when they beat Pascack Valley, 35-0, Friday night. Last year the Indians upset the Norsemen, which sent the two teams spinning in opposite directions for the rest of the season. Valley went on a winning streak, while Demarest lost the next three games and finished the season 5-5.
“We were just hungry from the beginning,” said senior lineman Bailey Paster. “We wanted revenge from last year. Last year they were chippy, they were talking smack. We wanted revenge really bad this year. We definitely got it in style.”
“We’re a better team than we were last year,” added senior wide receiver/linebacker Ryan Vadis. “We let up 42 points last year. To come out here and get a win is huge. We haven’t beaten them since 2004. It means everything to me and the team. It feels awesome.”
Vadis caught five passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns.
“It’s what he’s been doing for the past two years,” said Demarest coach Tony Mottola. “I say he’s the most underrated wide receiver in North Jersey. He runs great routes, has great hands and he makes great plays. If you watch him block when he’s not getting the ball he just a devastating blocker. He’s well-rounded and he does a great job on defense for us. It’s not a surprise to us. We felt we could get him the ball and stretch them a little bit more than we had normally in the past four weeks. He’s just a playmaker.”
Vadis scored his first touchdown four minutes into the second quarter, when senior quarterback Austin Albericci zipped a pass to Vadis near the left sideline. He caught the ball, put a move on the defensive back at the 45-yard line and outran the Valley defense into the end zone to complete a 75-yard catch and run to make it 21-0.
“He’s got deceptive speed,” Mottola said. “He catches the ball and has a little shake to him so he can get loose. He sets up the angles of his blockers or he has good bursts if he has to run by somebody.”
“I’ve been playing wide receiver a long time,” said Vadis. “Over the summer I did the speed school at Varsity House gym. They do an awesome job of preparing athletes to perform on the field.” The Norsemen defense played a big role in the game and they took charge almost immediately. The Valley offense only managed to gain three yards on three running plays the first time they got the ball. On a 2nd-and-9 play Norseman senior Ryan Vadis intercepted a pass and ran it down to the Indians 15-yard line. But a personal foul call against the Norsemen pushed the ball back to the 40.
No matter. On second down Albericci scampered for 20 yards and a first down at the Indians 20-yard line. Sophomore tight end Jack Mottola gained six yards on an end around and senior running back Kevin McCloskey burst up the middle for 14 yards and a touchdown to make it 7-0. “He’s a great combination [of power and speed],” Mottola said of McCloskey. “Another thing good about him is he has great hands. We didn’t really utilize him too much tonight catching the ball (1-for-28 yards) but he really ran hard. You’re not going to arm tackle him and he’s just little enough to squirt through little holes we make and he helps the offensive line out with things like that.” The defense continued to stifle the Indians who never did get anything going.
“All week our defense stressed stopping the run,” McCloskey said. “That’s really what we did today. That probably never happened in the history of our school - a shutout at Pascack Valley. That’s just amazing. We just played tough.”
“Defense was phenomenal,” said Mottola. “Coach [Tom] Basile and the defensive coaches prepared the kids. The kids were really running around the field and playing. [They were] physical and passionate. We just played really, really physical.” The Norsemen made it 14-0 early in the second quarter on a five-play, 72-yard drive, culminating with an Albericci to senior wide receiver Joe Rotonde pass good for 26 yards and a TD. On the play Rotonde ripped the ball away from a defender before falling backward into the end zone. “Every touchdown we scored he called,” Mottola said of his quarterback. “He checked into what we needed to check into, called it and executed our offense.” The Norsemen scored two more touchdowns in the second half. The first began with a 15-yard run by McCloskey, who ran 15 times for 117 yards and a touchdown.
“Kevin is our emotional leader and he just works his tail off,” Mottola said. “The game means a lot to him and you can tell when he plays. He plays passionate football and that’s important.” The scoring drive ended when Albericci scrambled away from Indians defenders before connecting with Vadis as he sprinted across the end zone from left to right. “Austin is amazing,” McCloskey said. “He makes plays with his feet, can throw the ball downfield, can run, make moves. And Ryan Vadis on the outside and Joe Rotonde. It’s a lot to cover. We have a great offensive line and me to run behind it. It’s not easy to stop.”
The final touchdown was scored on the first play of the fourth quarter. Two plays after Albericci hooked up with Vadis for 48 yards on a 2nd-and-23, Albericci scored on a 9-yard run. It was a typical play for him, in that he ran left, cut right, spun around and avoided several Indian defenders on his way to the end zone.
Albericci finished by completing 14-21 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran nine times for 68 yards and a touchdown.
“Austin is Austin,” said Mottola. “He comes, he plays, he studies well during the week. He can do it with his feet, he can do it with his arm. The kid is a good football player.”
The win lifts the Norsemen to a 5-1 record as they get ready to play Dwight Morrow next weekend. “We’re going to take it one at a time,” said Vadis. “We have Dwight Morrow next. Everyone knows about them - they’re a very athletic team. In past years we played them sophomore year and blew a huge lead. In my junior year we blew a huge lead. I promise it’s not going to happen again.”
“After what happened last year the kids came in with a little chip on their shoulder,” Mottola said. “They didn’t want that to happen again. We had a great week of practice and it’s nice to see the kids feel success. This is a great program win. It’s important.”
Article By JC Baumuller
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