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Pleasantville Blocks Westlake Field Goal to Win

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- This time it was Pleasantville that savored the sweet taste of victory.

Pleasantville, which had lost its previous two games in the final minute, blocked a Westlake field goal with two seconds remaining, to preserve a 7-6 win, Saturday.

It was Pleasantville’s first win of the season (1-3), but, more important, the Panthers walked off the field knowing how Nanuet and Ardsley felt when it beat them.

“The first thing I said to the team was, ‘How does it feel to be on the other side of this?’ ” Pleasantville coach Tony Becerra said. “Losing always leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Winning this game shows them how much they can appreciate a game like this and how hard they worked to get it.”

Nanuet defeated Pleasantville on the last play of the game -- a touchdown and extra point -- and Ardsley overcame Pleasantville in the final minute -- a touchdown and two-point conversion.

Pleasantville’s Zack Myers and quarterback Danny Schulman barged through and blocked John D’Onofrio’s 19-yard attempt to win the game with two seconds remaining. Earlier in the game, Schulman blocked Westlake’s extra-point attempt.

“This says a lot about our team’s character and chemistry,” senior Michael Lanza, one of four captains, said. “On the final drive, when I looked in everyone’s eyes, I could see that we were going to stop this thing right now and get the win.”

D’Onofrio guided Westlake from its own 22-yard-line to the Pleasantville two-yard-line with two ticks on the clock. Pleasantville did not help itself with three penalties on the drive, including a pass interference which gave Westlake first-and-goal at the 2. A completed pass for no gain and spike, allowed Westlake two seconds.

“Something like that is just attitude,” said Becerra of the field-goal block. “You just pin your ears back and go at it. The adrenaline was at a big high point on that.”

Pleasantville came into the game trying hard to erase the memories of the Nanuet and Ardsley games from its minds. The Panthers did this with a good week of practice, according to Lanza.

“When we came back to practice Monday, we knew what we had to do,” Lanza said. “Our coaches turned up the intensity and made practice fast-paced.”

Pleasantville controlled the first half, but only led 7-0 thanks to a Schuman to Charlie Montgomery 21-yard touchdown pass with 3:52 remaining in the half. It was set up by defensive tackle Cam Burns’ interception of a tipped D’Onofrio pass at the line of scrimmage. It was one of three interceptions for the Panthers in the first half.

Pleasantville was moving the ball, thanks to the running of Kyle O’Loughlin (123 yards on 30 carries), but the Panthers could not finish off a drive.

Westlake was finding trouble gaining yardage against Pleasantville’s defense until midway through the third quarter. D’Onofrio directed a 14-play, 59-yard drive which he capped with a 4-yard touchdown run. Schulman, came through the line, and blocked the extra point.

“This was our first game at home and to raise our helmets on the field and to finish with the win was amazing,” Lanza said.

Westlake 0 0 0 6 -- 6Pleasantville 0 7 0 0 -- 7

Pleasantville -- Charlie Montgomery 21 pass from Danny Schulman (Michael Lanza kick).Westlake -- John D’Onofrio 4 run (kick failed).

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