2003-09-12 / Sports

Far Rockaway Season Off To Strong Start

By Elio Velez
Far Rockaway Season Off To Strong Start By Elio Velez

Far Rockaway head coach Les Sabbah talks to his team during a timeout.Far Rockaway head coach Les Sabbah talks to his team during a timeout.

A glorious 75-degree day with the sun brightly shining last Saturday morning set the scene for Far Rockaway’s home opener against Tilden High School. And though a little sloppy at times, the Seahorses dominated the Tilden Blue Devils 30-6 in a non-Queens league game last Saturday.

Offensive coordinator Willie Beverly talked to the entire team after the big win. "We made some little mistakes but we also did some really nice things and we’re making it come together. We just need to keep working hard".

Far Rockaway started with a big defensive play after Ricardo Remy stripped the ball from Tilden RB Calvin Rodriguez with 10 minutes remaining in the first quarter. The ensuing drive though led to the only points of the day for Tilden and redemption for Rodriguez when he intercepted a Chris Howard pass for a 100 yard TD to make it 6-0.

But in this game, Far Rockaway featured the better talent as Jeremy Pruitt made a diving catch from Christo Howard to complete a 31-yard TD pass to tie the score at 6-6 in the first quarter.

Far Rockaway’s Michael Toney (1) pulls down a Tilden RB in the backfield.Far Rockaway’s Michael Toney (1) pulls down a Tilden RB in the backfield.

After Michael Toney scored a 5 yard TD run to make it 16-6 in the first half, head coach Les Sabbah made the effort to finish off the game by giving the ball to his senior RB Michael Toney.

Toney had a great day on the field as he ran 21 times for 145 yards with a touchdown and he chewed up yardage and time possession as the Seahorses dominated the ball. Howard recovered from his two interceptions in the game to make it 24-6 in the third quarter and finish any chance of Tilden making a comeback.

Sabbah said the game was sloppy in the first half but the team pulled together for the second half and the team stepped up. "They needed three scored and we didn’t want to help them with any mishaps", Sabbah said.

Sabbah entrusted the ball to Toney and for good reason. The bruising starting running back ran for 822 yards last season and scored six touchdowns. The coaches believed that Toney would become a leader in the locker room and on the field and Toney welcomes that challenge because he has been thinking about becoming a leader since his sophomore season.

"Going into my senior year. I realize I had to work harder on the football field because we have to replace a lot the football team lost which is size, speed, strength and leadership all in one time", Toney said. "These guys now are pulling together now. We worked hard for it."

Going into next week’s game against New Dorp, Toney knows that the team needs improvement but Toney still smiles about the win. He knows the race for the prize of the playoffs and the championships is still reachable. He believes the team is dedicated to making a long run.

"We established a lot together. We have some young kids so they have to learn from the leaders. "If we come together as a team more often, we can do anything. No matter who wants the ball or who is asking for the ball. We still have to play together".

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