Trailing 14-0 and then 21-7 at the half, River Dell dominated Ramapo in the second half, scoring 15 unanswered points including the winning two-point conversion pass with 1:40 left to win, 22-21. The River Dell win snapped Ramapo’s 27-game winning streak, as they held the ball for over 19 minutes in the second half.
First Quarter: Ramapo got on the board when Ben Robinson took the opening kickoff 70 yards for the score, cutting to the right and winning a foot race for the last 50 yards. River Dell consumed over five minutes on a drive into Ramapo territory, but turned it over on downs. With just under two minutes left in the quarter, quarterback Charles DePrima went 54 yards for the score to put the Raiders up 14-0.
Second Quarter: After an exchange of punts, River Dell struck when Christian Hay found Colin Quinn for approximately 65 yards and a touchdown to get the Hawks on the board. Ramapo responded by going on a methodical drive that was close to six minutes. The drive started deep in their own territory when Ramapo was slow to field the kickoff. They extended their lead when DePrima found a wide open Rich Sica near the right pylon for a touchdown with 1:22 left in the half. River Dell drove down the field, but a 40-yard field goal attempt fell short.
Third Quarter: River Dell came out with the ball and went for over six minutes, converting two fourth-downs to keep the chains moving. But Sica intercepted on the 3-yard line and Ramapo temporarily staved off a River Dell threat. Ramapo was three-and-out, possessing the ball for exactly one minute, giving River Dell the ball at midfield. River Dell kept coming, moving the ball, but their fourth-and-2 at the 23 was stopped short of a first down. Thirteen seconds later, Ramapo fumbled and River Dell’s Brendan Walker recovered on the 22 with 1:17 left in the quarter.
Fourth Quarter: The Hawks took advantage of their opportunity and narrowed Ramapo’s lead to 21-14 when Hay found Quinn again for a 15-yard score. Ramapo fumbled again in their following drive, this time at midfield and River Dell recovered with just under nine minutes left to play. The Hawks kept moving the chains, converting a fourth-and-2 on the 22 and were faced with a fourth-and-goal on the 6 with 1:44 left. Hay found Will Fletcher in the end zone for the touchdown. River Dell elected to go for two points and running back Mike Mellet found Fletcher in the end zone to go in front, 22-21, with 1:40 left. Ramapo had one last chance, but a fourth-down run by DePrima fell short and River Dell ran out the clock.
Conclusion: River Dell’s gritty effort paid off in victory over a big rival. With the exception of the first touchdown pass to Quinn, there were very few big plays. Contrast that to Ramapo, who had a kick return and a long run for scores. By my count, River Dell converted four of five fourth-down plays in the second half, as they possessed the ball for 19 of 24 minutes. The offensive line of Anthony Gangemi, Nick Iannantuano, Ryan Wittkamp, Ian Van Riper, and Tyler Pignio allowed the Hawks to win the time-of-possession battle. The Hawk defense did a very good job of denying Ramapo the inside run in the second half and they were aggressive in pursuit. River Dell also defended the outside very well, not allowing Ramapo to turn the corner to go up the field. Overall, it was a team effort for River Dell that gave them the win.