The Panthers had the date circled, underlined and bolded with their crosstown rivals, Bears, and ramped up their efforts during the course of the week as the game inched closer.
Although Pleasantville came into the game with just one win, they dominated Briarcliff at home Saturday night under the lights 30-0 and to the point where it made you question where this team was hiding all season.
The Panthers scored on almost all of their scoring drives, and they moved the ball any way they wanted to against the opposing defense. Briarcliff didn’t achieve a first down until the fourth quarter, which really tells it all.
Pleasantville quarterback John Conway looked fluid in the pocket and with his throws as he connected on 8 of 13 passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns. He was in complete control of the game plan and the offensive flow, and was the recipient of many hugs and congratulatory remarks post game.
”Coach [Tony Becerra] said we executed the game plan almost flawlessly and it’s feels amazing to come out here and play this well tonight and against our rival,” Conway said. “This was a big win for us, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Pleasantville’s winning streak against Briarcliff went to five straight now after the win and although the game didn’t have any implications for either team, Pleasantville could definitely build upon this for the remainder of the season, and Briarcliff has a lot of questions as they enter into the postseason.
“If we win out the remainder of the year, we could end up with four wins and that will be one more than last year,” Becerra said. “We just came off back to back 40 point losses and the team could’ve packed it in, but they worked hard during the week during practice, and executed tremendously on the field tonight.”
Briarcliff on the other hand, will likely be a four seed heading into next week’s playoffs, which will mean a matchup with Croton Harmon is on the horizon. Croton Harmon just beat Briarcliff by 41 last week, and heading into playoffs, the Bears will be on the road as well. If that’s not enough concern, Briarcliff is also dealing with some injuries as well.
One major one is with starting quarterback Ryan Hooper, who is battling a high left ankle sprain. He tried to give it a go last night, but had to be pulled after the half because of ineffectiveness due to the injury.
“I wanted to come out here and play tonight, but I just couldn’t finish due to the injury,” Hooper said. “I hurt it during the fourth quarter last week and hopefully it will heal up come game time next week. Although we didn’t play well tonight, we still have playmakers on this team and we believe in each other so anything is possible.”