HARTSDALE, N.Y. -- Once Jackson Plimpton snared his first catch -- a 63-yard reception from quarterback Ryan Hooper -- Briarcliff discovered something.
We felt that the deep pass was going to be there, Plimpton said. Coach (John Consorti) knew it and that was our game plan. Unfortunately, other than the reception, Briarcliff was struggling offensively through the first 17 minutes and facing a 13-point deficit in its season-opener with Irvington, Saturday. Briarcliff ended up prevailing with a hard-fought 32-29 victory at Woodlands.
Things changed once Jonathan Marrero returned the kick-off 83 yards for a touchdown. Briarcliff would pull within a point at halftime on a Hooper to Plimpton 28-yard scoring strike. In the second half, Briarcliff aired it out. Hooper connected on two large scoring throws.
Hooper finished 9 of 15 for 266 yards and three touchdowns. Plimpton caught four pass, three going for touchdowns -- 65, 56 and 28 yards -- for 220 yards.
When Ryan threw me the first long pass, it established that confidence, Plimpton said. Ryan has two great receivers in Jonathan Marrero and me. He knows if he throws it up there, one of us will come down with it.
It was Marrero who got Briarcliff into the game with his kick-off return. On Briarcliffs next series, his 30-yard punt return fueled a touchdown drive.
That was a big play, said Plimpton of the return for touchdown. Its great when you have a big player like Jonathan on special teams. It started a rally.
On Briarcliffs first play of the second half, Hooper hit Marrero in stride for a 78-yard touchdown, giving the Bears their first lead, 18-13.
However, Irvington would answer back when Alex Bennett blocked a punt and Jonah Rosenblum picked it up and raced 18 yards for the touchdown. Dillon DArrigo hit John Cofre for the two-point conversion, giving Irvington a 21-13 lead.
That would be brief. Briarcliff struck on the first play of its ensuing series as Hooper found Plimpton streaking down the sideline for 65 yards and a score.
As soon as Ryan came into the huddle I knew it was going to be a touchdown because we have great chemistry together, Plimpton said.
Irvington grabbed a quick 13-0 lead on fullback Kevin Degnans 11-yard rumble a a DArrigo to Shoran Tamura 23-yard touchdown throw.
Briarcliff 0-12-13-7 -- 32Irvington 7-6-8-8 -- 29Irvington -- Kevin Degnan 11 run (James Silverberg kick)Irvington -- Shoran Tamura 23 pass from Dillon DArrigo (kick failed)Briarcliff -- Jonathan Marrero 83 kick-off return (kick failed)Briarcliff -- Jackson Plimpton 28 pass from Ryan Hooper (pass failed)Briarcliff -- Jonathan Marrerro 78 pass from Ryan Hooper (pass failed)Irvington -- Jonah Rosenblum 18 blocked punt (Jon Cofre pass from Dillon DArrigo)Briarcliff -- Jackson Plimpton 65 pass from Ryan Hooper (Matt Pasternak kick)Briarcliff -- Jackson Plimpton 56 pass from Colin Orr (Matt Pasternak kick)Irvington -- Kevin Degnan 2 run (Hunter Gizzi run)
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