football Head Coach Tony Becerra hasn’t been pleased with his kicking unit so far this year, and on Saturday decided to do something he doesn’t normally do.
After being held scoreless in the first quarter, Becerra opted to go for it on fourth down instead of kicking twice in the red zone in the second quarter of Pleasantville’s road game at . Both times the Panthers scored, and awakened an offense that scored seven touchdowns en route to a 39-0 win against Briarcliff.
“Really, it’s out of necessity right now ‘cause our PAT and field goal unit’s not where it should be,” Becerra said. “We’re going to work on that, but right now that’s our option.”
Pleasantville went for it twice in the first quarter too, both times resulting in a turnover on downs.
“We stopped them the first time on downs and then on fourth-and-sixth a few times they converted,” said Briarcliff Head Coach John Consorti. “If you can stop them on those, there’d be a different complexion to the game, but we really did a lot of damage to ourselves early in the game.”
The Bears (0-2) had some issues offensively on Saturday, mainly snapping the ball cleanly. On the first drive of the game, the Bears fumbled a snap that was recovered by Pleasantville’s Cam Burns, who recovered another fumbled snap later in the game. In total, Briarcliff fumbled eight snaps, only two of which were recovered by Pleasantville. Another snap came on fourth and resulted in a turnover on downs. Consorti said the team has had some issues with snapping earlier this year.
“Not to this extent,” he said. “We thought it was corrected. Unfortunately, we run our offense out of a shotgun set and we just couldn’t get going with it.”
Pleasantville’s offense got going in the second quarter, when the Panthers scored five touchdowns. The first came on a fourth-down pass from Anthony Godino to James Leyden, who cut toward the back middle of the endzone and hauled in a pass while making sure to stay in bounds. Godino converted another fourth down a few minutes later, when he passed for his second touchdown, this one to Charlie Montgomery.
Nicolas Pedlow scored Pleasantville’s third touchdown after the Panthers started a drive in Briarcliff territory thanks to a fumbled snap. On the Bears next drive, Pleasantville’s Gregory Drillock picked off a wide receiver pass. The Panthers wasted little time, as Pedlow scored his second touchdown of the day on the second play of the drive. Steven Sicignano added a touchdown in the second half.
Montgomery, who caught a second touchdown pass in the second half, said the offense really came alive once the offensive line picked up its play, the rest of the offense followed.
“We rely on pounding the football. We started off slow,” he said. “Our first three possessions we couldn’t really get anything going. We turned it over on downs twice, but once that line got that push, it all starts with the line. From then on, we could run-to-pass, we could pass-to-run.”
After a loss last week to Croton-Harmon, Montgomery said it was important for the team to turn things around. He added that it’s even nicer when it happens against a rival you’ve .
“Two years in a row, goose egg,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier.”