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Tamura keeps Irvington Rolling into Playoffs

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- The Irvington varsity football season reached a crisis moment in week three of the regular season.

Starting quarterback Dillon D’Arrigo went down with an injury in the first half against Riverside. Irvington first-year coach Mike Oliva was immediately concerned about his signal-caller and had to react quickly. Oliva turned to split end Shoran Tamura to play quarterback and the move has enabled Irvington to continue rolling.

Tamura has led the third-seeded Bulldogs to five consecutive wins, and six overall, as they go into their Section 1 Class B Football Championship quarterfinal game against second-seeded Our Lady of Lourdes, Friday, 7 p.m., at Overlook Park.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Tamura, a junior, has given Irvington another game-breaker when he has the ball in his hands. He ran for a pair of lengthy touchdown runs in the fourth quarter to beat Ardsley, finishing with 193 yards.

“The coaching staff kept pushing me to give Sho reps at quarterback during pre-season camp because we needed some depth at quarterback,” Oliva said. Once Tamura began taking snaps during preseason, Oliva found a willing participant in extra work.

“After grueling two-a-day practices in the August heat, Sho asked if he could stay after practice and learn the offense from the quarterback perspective,” Oliva said. “He stayed with me for more than an hour a day as I drew up formations, plays and checks. That is impressive for any high school athlete to do, but what’s more impressive is that he did this long before he was a thought at playing the position.

“Sho knew his role was Dillon’s back-up, but yet he still wanted to be prepared in case we called his number. That’s why it really isn’t a surprise to us coaches that Sho is playing the position so well.”

Oliva said Tamura’s transition to the position went smoothly because of his work ethic and determination. “The beauty of the Wing-T is that you can adjust the skill set to the level you are given,” Oliva said. “Yes, we have tweaked some things for Sho to be successful, just as we had things in there for Dillon to be successful.

“Each week Sho is impressing us with is knowledge of the offense. Against Ardsley, some of the best plays he made were not the long touchdown runs, but his decision-making at the line of scrimmage and what he did after the ball was snapped. Sho is a playmaker and he has shown he has the ability to take it to the house on any given play.”

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