BCHS, FRHS Eliminated In First Round
It was the second time that Beach Channel traveled to Lincoln this season. Last Saturday, they played a first round playoff game against the #3 ranked undefeated Railsplitters. The Dolphins played hard and kept the Lincoln’s high scoring offense in check the first time. But in both games, the end result was the same. Lincoln’s (9-0) 12-7 win eliminated the Dolphins (5-5) from the 2003 playoffs.
The playoff game was a mirror image of their first matchup of this year. In both games, Beach Channel played a miserable first half and dominated the second half. But in falling behind 12-0 on the road in the third quarter, the Dolphins ran out of time to win.
Field position played a big part in both scores for Lincoln. Beach Channel played most of the half with bad field position and it came back to haunt the Dolphins. Lincoln’s Neil Lewis ran back a punt to the 9 yard line and QB Niquann Gaymon scored on a one yard sneak to make it 6-0.
Penalties killed Beach Channel for most of the half and Lincoln capitalized with their second score as RB Neil Lewis scored on a 1-yard touchdown to make it 12-0. In 12 possessions, the Dolphins only managed three first downs.
"That first half is a haunting to us ", said Senior QB/RB Luis Santana. "The offense wasn’t there the first half. The second half is where we came but it can’t be like that. And that was our season".
Santana was correct as the Dolphins came out with a different team in the second half. Lincoln seemed to wilt under the Dolphins’ pressure. Lincoln’s quarterback Niquann Gaymon was intercepted twice in the second half and the Dolphins contained star WR Nyan Boateng to only two catches.
The Dolphins could only get into the end zone late in the 4th quarter as Santana scored on a 4-yard touchdown run with 1:03 left. The Dolphins had their chance to recover the onside kick but Lincoln fell on the ball to move on to the second round.
Santana believed that if the Dolphins had more time on the clock, they would have finished with a come back victory. " A couple of more minutes changes a whole lot of things. The last two minutes, you’ve seen all the stuff we done. If we would have at least had 30 more seconds but you can’t change the past".
The lost chances did not escape head coach Victor Nazario. He said that Lincoln did not play any different than the last time they faced each other. His team was not intimidated by Lincoln’s record and if they played as well in the first half, as they did the second, the outcome may have been in Beach Channel’s way.
"The seniors didn’t quit on me and the team didn’t quit on me all season but it (the game) was there for the taking", said Nazario.
Far Rockaway Eliminated
It was inevitable that Far Rockaway’s late season collapse would put them in a dangerous spot. Once a top five team in the city, the Seahorses fell to a #16 seed in the playoffs and were thrashed at #1 seed Tottenville in Staten Island, 42-6.
Far Rockaway (5-5 overall) could only keep the game close in the first half. Down 14-0, the Seahorses managed their only score after recovering a Tottenville Pirates fumble in the second quarter. WR James Romain caught a pass from QB Charis Howard and scored a 40-yard touchdown to narrow the score 14-6. That was as close as they got.
A worn out Far Rockaway team gave up 28 second half points as Pirates RB Jonathan Pitt-Coombs tore up the field for 152 yards running and 249 yards of total offense by himself. "We were tired in the second half. They have a stronger team", said Far Rockaway assistant coach Ken Hernandez.
Far Rockaway will bring back many players for next season but Hernandez says it will take an effort by coaches and the players to prepare for next season. "The kids learned a lot this season overall. They feel they can play for a half against Tottenville but in the offseason, it’s up to them to start lifting, get stronger and prepare".