Wednesday Morning Quarterback: Pimpinella, Penalties and Placekicking


Jake Aferiat

Senior Mike Pimpinella celebrates after a touchdown.

By Evan Jones, Pascack Valley

In Pascack Valley’s win Friday night over Wayne Hills, the defense stole the spotlight with their game saving stop late in the 4th quarter. But in the close 23-20 game, spectators could see through the rain that a large reason that PV was able to move to 4-0 was because of senior jack-of-all trades wide receiver, Mike Pimpinella.

The most memorable play of the night came at the very end of the 2nd quarter. It seemed like PV would just run the clock out with little time remaining in the half and the ball on their own 24-yard line, and take their 14-7 lead into halftime. Instead, quarterback Colin Dedrick suddenly dropped back and caught the defense off guard. He threw a bomb to Pimpinella and the two connected for a 67-yard score.
“I figured it was the last play of the half, so we might as well give it a shot,” Pimpinella said, “it was good to get a score going into halftime.” PV went up 20-7 after the long touchdown reception.

The second play that displayed Pimpinella’s creative side occurred in the 3rd quarter. Pimpinella, playing the role of punter on 4th down, seemed to have bobbled the snap. Instead of recovering from the bobbled snap and punting the ball away, he tucked the ball and ran for an 18-yard run to move the chains. While the drive resulted in no points, this bizarre play was notable due to Pimpinella’s awareness, as well as his ability to again catch the defense off guard.
“The coaches gave me the go ahead to run it, Connor Jones ran by me and said, ‘screw it just run it.’” Pimpinella explained.

Quarterback Colin Dedrick suddenly dropped back and caught the defense off guard. He threw a bomb to Pimpinella and the two connected for a 67-yard score.”

The play that may have indirectly won the game for PV occurred again on a 4th down punt attempt. Following a Wayne Hills sack, Pimpinella again came out to punt. This time, his foot and the ball made contact. The punt was a line drive, and the Wayne Hills return man decided to let it bounce, thinking it would roll into the end zone. But Pimpinella did what every punter dreams of: got the ball to roll out of bounds at the 1-yard line.
“I don’t really practice punting,” Pimpinella admitted, “I just aim for the sideline and do what I can.”
The punt forced Wayne Hills to start their final drive from their own end zone. Their drive ended after they turned the ball over on downs at the PV 24-yard line.

Although PV was still able to win the game– for the second week in a row– penalties severely hurt the team. Against Wayne Hills, PV racked up 11 penalties, as opposed to Wayne Hills’ six. Of PV’s 11 penalties, six were on special teams, but the offense only was penalized twice.

The biggest factor that made this game particularly different from any other so far this season was the wind and rain. Hurricane Joaquin played against both teams as rain came down hard throughout the entire game, making the footballs a bit slick and difficult to handle.
“The conditions were pretty difficult,” Dedrick described, “But, the team did a good job of keeping the balls warm by cycling through them.”

Another facet of the game that is always affected by wind and rain is the kicking game. Junior placekicker Matt Urrea did miss an extra point in the game, but also hit a 27-yard field goal in the second half to make up for it.
“I was pretty confident and once I hit it, it felt real good. I looked up and saw it was getting stalled by the wind a little and got nervous for second but fortunately it had enough to go in.” Urrea said of his field goal, which extended the PV lead to 23-14 early in the 4th quarter.

Despite the unforgiving weather conditions on the field, PV still managed to stay perfect in another close-call victory in the 4th quarter.