Ramapo held off a persistent River Dell team to win, 21-19, with Adam Ayoub crashing through the line on a potential-tying two-point conversion to keep Ramapo in front and win the game. It comes down to legendary coach Greg Toal’s statement, “when we miss the extra point, it’s like we didn’t even score.” Ramapo converted all three extra points, while River Dell only converted one.
First Quarter: On their second possession, Ramapo scored on a 5-yard keeper by Charles DePrima to make it 7-0. The big play on the drive was when DePrima connected with Sean Clapp for 39 yards to the 26-yard line. DePrima also found Max Kucharski for 12 yards on fourth-and-one on the play prior to the touchdown.
Second Quarter: River Dell went on a 16-play, 85-yard drive that bridged the two quarters and consumed 8:49, capping it off with a Mike Sirico touchdown of 10 yards on the keeper that tied the score. Sirico was moved to quarterback on the drive, while Jack Gillies switched to wide receiver. The Golden Hawks picked up six first downs on the drive, successfully converting two fourth downs, with the longest gainer being a 21-yard pass from Sirico to Mike Mellet to make it first-and-goal on the 9. Ramapo answered right back, going ten plays in four minutes and went ahead for good on a 5-yard touchdown by Jake Tirone with two minutes left. Big plays were DePrima passes to Tirone for 13 yards and Kucharski for 16.
Third Quarter: River Dell came out with the ball and on third-and-10, Sirico found Gillies for 31 yards to the 44 of Ramapo. Two plays later, Sirico completed a pass to Will Fletcher for 32 yards, giving the Golden Hawks a first-and-goal on the 8. Three plays later, Sirico ran for a 7-yard touchdown, but the extra point failed, making it 14-13, five minutes into the quarter. After the two exchanged drives, each turning it over on downs, Ramapo marched 63 yards, scoring on the first play of the fourth quarter on Tirone’s 13-yard run down the left sideline for a 21-13 lead. The big play was a DePrima pass to Clapp of 39 yards to the 22, as DePrima skillfully avoided the pass rush.
Fourth Quarter: River Dell would not go away. On Ramapo’s next drive, they went past the 50, but Jason Berzon intercepted for River Dell on their 19. A 19-yard pass to Joe Mellet, followed by a 16-yard run by Mike Mellet with a 15-yard Ramapo penalty tacked on to the play gave the Golden Hawks a first down on the Ramapo 31. Mike Melet ran for 14 yards to the 11 and Sirico scored on fourth down for a 6-yard touchdown with 4:34 left, making it 20-19. They went for two points to tie the score, but Ayoub penetrated through the line and threw Sirico for the loss, preserving the Ramapo lead. Ramapo picked up two first downs and punted to the 18. River Dell completed a pass and after several laterals, the ball was loose and Ramapo recovered.
Ramapo – 7-7-0-7-21
River Dell – 0-7-6-6-19
R – DePrima, 5-yard run (kick good)
RD – Sirico, 10-yard run (kick failed)
R – Tirone, 5-yard run (kick good)
RD – Sirico, 7-yard run (kick good)
R – Tirone, 13-yard run (kick good)
RD – Sirico, 6-yard run (run failed)
DePrima was 10-18-156 yards passing and rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown, combining for 231 yards of total offense. His mobility was a big factor in extending drives during the game. Tirone had two touchdowns and rushed for 108 yards on 19 carries. Ayoub made the big stop that kept the Raiders in front in the fourth quarter.
Sirico was outstanding, once he moved to quarterback, completing 11-13 for 166 yards, rushing for 78 yards and three touchdowns, while having one reception for 9 yards, giving him 253 yards of total offense.
Ramapo coach Drew Gibbs: “When we play ten times in five years, We know each other very well. River Dell came prepared and we’re happy to come out with the win. Our defense has played well all year and Sirico did a very good job for them. They also did a very good job defending our running game. On their two-point conversion attempt late in the game, we went into our goal-line defense. We’ve had success with it and Adam (Ayoub) made a good play. We kept our poise in the fourth quarter.”
Ramapo quarterback Charles DePrima: “Our line did a good job and I just do my part. It was a huge win, a good rivalry, and I’m happy we won.”
Ramapo defensive lineman Adam Ayoub on making tackle on 2-point attempt: “I knew I had to shoot off the ball. I moved as fast as I could and got off the ball. When I made the tackle, I was so happy; I couldn’t believe I made the play.”