2003-10-03 / Sports

Far Rockaway, Beach Channel Face Tough Football Battles

By Elio Velez
Far Rockaway, Beach Channel Face Tough Football Battles By Elio Velez

There are always going to be games during a football season that will test the mettle of a team. For Far Rockaway and Beach Channel, their midseason tests will happen this weekend against perennially strong teams.

Beach Channel won with their special teams providing very important scores in their 28-6 win against Campus Magnet Senior Kamel Cosgrove scored on two kickoff return touchdowns. The first score was on an 80-yard return to give Beach Channel a 14-6 lead in the second quarter. Cosgrove then opened the second half with a 60-yard return to seal the game at 21-6.

Backup RB Roy Castillo took over for Tyrelle Johnson who suffered a mild ankle sprain in the first quarter. Nazario praised his running back. ""The kid finished 7 carries for 71 yards. He averaged 10 yards a carry so between the offensive line and his running, we did well."

Beach Channel (3-1) will face off against Bayside this Saturday at Homecoming Day at 11 a.m. Bayside has fallen into tough times after a 6-2 season in 2002 as they have started off this season at 0-4. But those losses have come against the top teams in the city against other power teams such as 2003 champions Curtis, Port Richmond, Tottenville and Fort Hamilton. Bayside has been very competitive in those games and are looking for their first win against a hungry Beach Channel team.

Head coach Victor Nazario knows how important this game is to his team’s playoff hopes. Bayside has been on top of the class in Queens for many years and Nazario has reminded his players throughout the week that they should not take Bayside lightly.

"Everybody is looking at Bayside as 0-4 but let me tell you something, they are a very good football team", Nazario says. "Two of those teams they played were in the city championship last year".

"They’re not just losing to nobodies. They are looking at their last 5 games at winning them all starting us and I like to see if we can throw a wrench in their system".

Playoff positioning is very important as well for Beach Channel. The 1-3-5-PSAL power rankings takes into effect the strength of schedule and the quality of the win against an opponent. Nazario explained that since Bayside plays a tough schedule, any games they win against other opponents helps Beach Channel in the overall standings.

Beach Channel has many players on this year squad that remembers last year’s 32-7 thrashing against Bayside and Nazario believes that should be one motivating factor in beating Bayside. "The kids had a biter taste in their mouth from last year. They got killed and they obviously want to get even"

Traveling to JFK

Coming off an impressive win at home against Midwood 40-12 last Friday, Far Rockaway will travel to the Bronx to play Kennedy High School under the lights on Friday, October 3 at 6:30 p.m. At 4-0 Far Rockaway has used their explosive offense and stingy defense to outscore their opponents 126-24.

The 60-man squad that Midwood brought to the game did not intimidate Far Rockaway. Far Rockaway may have a small squad but Sabbah says that only 11 players can get on the field and win. "We played an all around game and we put a hurting on them", said head coach Les Sabbah. "My guys were extremely happy about winning the game."

QB Chris Howard continued his outstanding play as he threw for 145 yards and three touchdowns to WR Shiloh Brown. Senior RB Michael Toney ran for 130 yards on 15 carries and scored a touchdown.

Kennedy (2-2) head coach Jerry Horowitz returns to the sidelines this season after not coaching last year’s playoff squad. Horowitz is one of the top coaches in the city as he has guided the Knights to five city championships in his tenure. Sabbah gives praise to Horowitz and has studiously prepared for the challenge ahead.

"I’m looking forward to the night game. It will be a big game for us", said Sabbah. "This is a tough test for us. I know our team will be up to play against Kennedy".

Junior Varsity

Far Rockaway won 24-6 over Dewitt Clinton last Monday to improve their record to 2-0. Far Rockaway travels to Campus Magnet on Sunday, October 5 at 11 a.m. Beach Channel will play their first game of the year at home on the same day at 11 a.m. against Springfield Gardens.

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