Ramapo had a big night from quarterback Landon DePrima, filling in for the injured Jack Grusser, to drive the Raiders to a 30-22 win and hand Old Tappan their first loss. The win halted a two-game losing streak and put them in good position heading into a tough game next week against Ridgewood. Ramapo’s defense came up big after Old Tappan’s first two touchdown drives and the Raider defense did not allow an offensive touchdown the rest of the evening.
First Quarter: Ramapo’s first drive ended with an interception by Aidan Heaney at midfield, who returned it to the Ramapo 27. On the following play, Tommy Caracciolo found Jack Diggins for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Ramapo answered with a 15-play drive capped off with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Landon DePrima to Ben Robinson. The key play of the drive was a 28-yard run by DePrima and only three plays went over 10 yards. It was Old Tappan’s turn with a 13-play drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown by Heaney that was set up by another 11-yard run of his two plays earlier and a 20-yard pass to Evan Brooks.
Second Quarter: Ramapo came right back with a 66-yard touchdown pass from DePrima to Nate Burleson. The extra point was blocked and Old Tappan hung on to a 14-13 lead. Heaney started the drive with a 20-yard run and the Golden Knights were moving the ball until James Magerko intercepted and returned the ball 25 yards to the 32. DePrima had a 35-yard run, but a Raider fourth down pass was incomplete. After an Old Tappan punt, DePrima found Burleson again for 38 yards to the 28, but their drive ended when Brooks intercepted on the 12-yard line. After Old Tappan punted again, DePrima outran everybody for an 85-yard touchdown run. Another extra point failed and their lead was 19-14 with 23 seconds left in the half. The half ended when Matt Bedrin intercepted for Ramapo.
Third Quarter: A Ramapo punt was blocked by Christian Greaney and scooped up by Ronan Malady for a short touchdown. The two-point conversion with a successful pass to Diggins put Old Tappan ahead, 22-19. Ramapo answered back again when DePrima and Burleson connected for a touchdown, this time for 52 yards. The two-point pass to Robinson was good and the Raiders were back in front, 27-22. Old Tappan started on their 48 courtesy of a return by Nicholas Rossi and advanced as far as the 21-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs.
Fourth Quarter: Ramapo began moving the ball and Ethan Moran broke loose for 52 yards to the 23. A 38-yard field goal by Anthony Dabrowski extended the lead to 30-22 with eight minutes left. Old Tappan stayed alive when Caracciolo completed an 11-yard pass to Tim Clune to the Ramapo 48 on fourth-and-four from their 41, but Bedrin intercepted again for Ramapo. The Raiders picked up three first downs – two completions to Phil Veskov sandwiched around an 11-yard run by Moran – but their fourth down pass was incomplete, giving Old Tappan one last chance. Caracciolo found Brooks for 11 yards and a first down. Two sacks and a penalty pushed the ball back to the Old Tappan 27 and Jack Dentz intercepted as time ran out.
Comments: This was a huge win for Ramapo, who was playing without quarterback Jack Grusser. But DePrima stepped in and had a fabulous night, going 20-25 for 278 yards and three touchdowns passing, running for 172 yards and a touchdown to combine for 450 yards of total offense. Moran came on in the second half and picked up 103 yards on 21 carries. Burleson caught three for 156 yards and two touchdowns. The Raiders came up with 547 yards of offense and the credit must go to the line of left tackle Tom Shokoff, left guard Rocco Otazu, center Jack D’Avanzo, right guard Luke McEnery, and right tackle Aidan Mackle.
If there was a key to the game, it was Ramapo answering each time Old Tappan scored a touchdown. When it was 7-0, Ramapo scored on the following drive. When it was 14-7, Ramapo came back within a point at 14-13. When Old Tappan went in front, 22-19, Ramapo returned the favor on the following drive to put them back in front for a lead they would not relinquish.
Old Tappan started off well, but did not match the output of their first two drives: their only two offensive touchdowns. Their first two drives produced 14 points, but the offense could not sustain anything after that. They had nine drives with four ending in punts, four on interceptions, and one being turned over on downs.