MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Ravena Indians looked to follow up a Section II Class B title with a trip to the Carrier Dome. Ravena took on Pleasantville out of Section I on Saturday in the Class B State Semifinal.

Defense was at a premium, as the first score of the game came on special teams in the second quarter. Daniel Picart took a punt return 45 yards for the game’s first touchdown. The Panthers added a safety to take a 9-0 lead into the half.

Ravena came out swinging in the second half, as Luke Misetich hit Ryan Southworth for a long touchdown in the third quarter to make it a 9-7 game. Picart scored the game’s final touchdown with a short run in the fourth quarter, as the Panthers went on to win 15-7 to advance to the State Championship game.

When head coach Gary VanDerzee looks back, he’ll remember a whole lot more than this loss. “The spirit, the smile they brought to my face everyday at practice from last spring to this fall,” said VanDerzee. “They got tired of hearing me say it. You know, ‘Here comes coach again, he’s going to tell us how happy he is to be here.’ They just make me smile every day.”

VanDerzee confirmed after the game he will be back coaching at Ravena next season.