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Irvington Football Inspired to Second Straight Win

IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- One goal Irvington first-year coach Mike Oliva had when he began was to restore the Irvington football tradition.

The Bulldogs have begun that process this season and were recently introduced to the greatest team in Irvington football history.

The undefeated and Section 1-bowl-winning 1986 Irvington team met with the current players and this fueled the Bulldogs on homecoming weekend.

Shoran Tamura scored three touchdowns as Irvington defeated visiting Riverside, 45-0, Saturday, under the lights.

It was Irvington’s second consecutive win. In its last two games, the Bulldogs have scored 84 points. The win was tempered though, as Irvington lost starting quarterback Dillon D’Arrigo to an injury.The 1986 team, which was honored at halftime, includes current assistant coaches Bebe Gonzalez and Mike Toolan. Meeting team members inspired the current Bulldogs.

“It was great to talk to them,” said Tamura, who moved to quarterback when D’Arrigo went down. “They talked about their season and they gave us great advice on how to achieve what we wanted this year and for years to come.”

Tamura continued, “They talked to us about how they were a family. They were there 25 years ago, and now they are all happy and successful. They explained how football is a game, but it teaches you more than that. It teaches you about life.”

Irvington was dealt a blow when D’Arrigo left with a hand injury in the first quarter. The Bulldogs came together and dedicated the remainder of the game to their teammate. The first play after D’Arrigo got hurt, throwing a pass to Andrew Silverhardt, Tamura lined up behind center and plowed in from the 3-yard line.

Tamura plunged in from the 1-yard line on Irvington’s next possession, then fullback Kevin Degnan had a 28-yard scoring run and Hunter Gizzi swept right for a 22-yard scoring jaunt.

“We are all praying for Dillon,” Tamura said. “When he got hurt, I knew I had to step up and play quarterback and we knew what we had to do.”

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