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River Dell rolls over Ridgefield Park 50-22, extends winning streak to 11 games

Despite losing a bulk of starters and experience from last year’s state championship team, the River Dell Golden Hawks (6-0) returned their best player in quarterback Dave Estevez. So far this season, Estevez had accounted for 13 touchdowns, 638 rushing yards and 838 passing yards. On Friday night at Ridgefield Park (4-3), Estevez delivered another strong performance totaling four scores, two on the ground and two through the air while carrying the ball six times for 56 yards and perfect 3-for-3 passing for 161 yards.

“We had a really good week of practice and coming into the game watched a lot of film and preparation,” said Dave Estevez. “The offensive line did a great job and protected me as always.”

River Dell wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the first quarter aided by a blocked punt by Andrew Sanchez. 34 seconds later Estevez found the end zone plowing through for five yards on a QB keeper. The Golden Hawks defense forced another quick three-and-out. Estevez went back to work utilizing a quick-strike capability threading the needle on a 57-yard touchdown pass to Holden Brodersen down the middle of the field.

“About time we blocked a punt and helped to set the tempo and controlled field position early and capitalized each time,” said River Dell Head Coach DJ Nimphius. “The kind of performance we are capable of and expect to play this way. We only started five seniors and still a work in progress. Dave (Estevez) is a great leader and tremendous protection out of the offensive line from two seniors in Kyle Ziegler and Brendan Conroy. Holden Brodersen had big game today. Started a freshman at nose guard, four starters did not play today and guys stepped up today and played pretty well.”

Continuing to dominate the line of scrimmage, the Golden Hawks forced the Scarlets into shanking a punt as River Dell started their possession deep inside Ridgefield Park territory. Estevez hit the ground running churning out 35 yards to set up a first and goal at the eight-yard line. On 3rd and goal at the three, Dave Fletcher plowed through a host of players increasing the lead to 21-0 with less than two minutes remaining.

Early in the second quarter, Estevez scrambled out of the pocket and hit a wide open Connor Murphy in the flat, Murphy did the rest rumbling down the right sidelines for a 42-yard touchdown. Murphy made his presence on defense know making a key tackle on a 4th down play at the Golden Hawks 21-yard line.

“Conor doesn’t play much offense but a great three-star athlete and knows what he is doing and trust him a lot and saw him wide open and gave him the opportunity and he achieved it,” Estevez said.

Estevez connected quickly on a 57-yard bomb to Brodersen advancing the ball deep into Scarlets territory. On the very next play, Estevez carved out 16 yards on a run pushing the ball down to the one-yard line and capped it off with the one-yard plunge. However, Estevez was not done scoring running in a two-point conversion. Taking over the quarterback duties Jack Racine capped off River Dell’s impressive first half scoring on a QB keeper with 55 seconds remaining.

Looming ahead for River Dell next Friday, a showdown at home against Ramapo (5-1). Last year the Golden Hawks defeated the Raiders in the state playoffs.

“Coach (Nimphius) told us this is the halfway mark at six games and to go to the championship is at 12 games,” said Estevez. “We have to prepare for every team we play and Ramapo is a high powered offense and going to be a battle. We have not beaten them at home and good time now to get a win against them.”

Head Coach DJ Nimphius on the impending match-up against Ramapo next Friday, “Ramapo is the best team we have played in the section and Coach Gibbs is a half of fame coach and their kids run the stuff really well and keep getting better. It’s going to be a task and challenge in preparation.”

“We have played a pretty competitive schedule and game out in Pennsylvania really challenged us and took us awhile to get out of the gate. Replaced a lot of kids and maybe most this year and senior class of nine or 10 kids. We’re getting better and feel for what we are doing and moving some parts. The schedule is pretty daunting and what we want to do at River Dell in finding the best competition we can. We have really good kids and football players that love playing for River Dell and blessed.”

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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