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Pleasantville Wins Big Over Archrival Briarcliff

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- At the beginning of the practice last Monday, in preparation for Briarcliff, Michael Lanza, one of Pleasantville’s football captains, issued his teammates a challenge. “I told the team that I wanted us to play the best game we play, finish the game and get the win against Briarcliff,” Lanza said. Pleasantville accepted the challenge and came through, Saturday, with what Lanza said was the team’s best game of the season for a 30-0 victory over archrival Briarcliff. The Panthers finish the regular season with a 2-5, but will play an opponent-to-be-determined next weekend. Briarcliff, after opening the season with four straight wins, enters the Section 1 Class B Football Championships on a three-game losing streak. Quarterback and senior John Conway had the best game of his varsity career, completing 8 of 12 passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns. Charlie Montgomery was on the receiving end of two scores -- 21 and 8 yards. Montgomery finished with four catches for 83 yards and Mike Rogers had two grabs for 38 yards, including a 30-yard scoring pass. “John was spectacular,” Lanza said. “Before the game, Mike Minerva, one of our captains, and I went up to him and told him we wanted him to play the biggest game of his life. I couldn’t be more proud of him.” Conway laughed when he was asked about his two classmates coming to him before the game and presenting their case. He said it made him feel good and gave him confidence. “Last week, against Croton, I felt I was throwing the ball good,” Conway said. “Our receivers, especially Charlie, were getting open and I did not want to miss them.” Lanza, who also kicked a 30-yard field goal and had an interception, led a defense that grounded the high-flying Briarcliff offense. Quarterbacks Ryan Hooper and Colin Orr were a combined 3 for 16 for 25 yards and two interceptions. Briarcliff ran 15 plays in the first half without a first down and registered its’ only first down of the game late in the fourth quarter. “The scoreboard may have not shown it at times this season, but we know we’ve had the heart and the hustle to win all the season,” Lanza said. “We came into this game mentally and physically prepared to play.” Pleasantville demonstrated this in the opening minutes. On the second play of the game, cornerback and senior Joey Schiavone picked off Hooper at Briarcliff’s 47-yard line. Eight plays later, Conway connected with Montgomery for an 8-yard scoring strike. “One of our challenges was to take the will to play out of them and I think we did that, especially after we got the interception and scored,” Lanza said. Pleasantville doubled its lead on its’ next possession. The Panthers traversed 64 yards in 13 plays with Conway finding Montgomery on a 21-yard scoring throw. Lanza would boot his field goal just before halftime. “This is amazing and also unreal,” Lanza said. “I was undefeated against Briarcliff in my three years on varsity. It’s a great way to top off my Pleasantville football career.”

Briarcliff 0 0 0 0 -- 0Pleasantville 7 10 6 7 -- 30

Pleasantville -- Charlie Montgomery 8 pass from John Conway (Michael Lanza kick).Pleasantville -- Montgomery 21 pass from Conway (Lanza kick).Pleasantville -- Lanza 30-yard field goal.Pleasantville -- Mike Rogers 30 pass from Conway (kick failed).Pleasantville -- Nick Greto 1 run (Lanza kick).

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