Far Rockaway runningback Lawrence Whitehead got a surprise at practice last Thursday. He was anointed the starting quarterback by head coach Anthony Miele to replace injured Chris Howard, who hurt his knee in a game against Midwood.
A surprised but determined Whitehead took to the role with ease as he sparked the Seahorses (2-2 overall, Queens 1-2) in a rout 26-0 rout of New Utrecht, which broke a two game losing streak.
In their first series, Far Rockaway’s WR Shiloh Brown streaked down the sidelines untouched after catching a 69 yard touchdown pass to make it 6-0. “We saw that their corners were playing deep. So we said let’s throw it to Shiloh,” Whitehead said.
Brown was confident that Whitehead, who was a backup quarterback at August Martin before transferring, could make the pass. “He was throwing the ball well in practice. We did that play a hundred times,” Brown said. “I knew if he threw the ball up I would catch it, bottom line.”
Coach Miele was also confident that Whitehead would deliver the goods. “We saw three things that he (Whitehead) had,” Miele said. “He has the heart, no excuses and he has the arm. He couldn’t do any better.”
That was the beginning of a rout by the Seahorses who dominated on both sides of the ball. The defense stopped a New Utrecht team who had run the ball well against Beach Channel two weeks ago. On the next possession, Whitehead showed his running skills by rushing for a 25-yard gain. The play led to James Romain’s two-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 lead.
Romain continued to show that he is the best all around player on the team as he took an end around for a 65-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Jeremy Pruitt’s nine-yard touchdown pass from Whitehead in the third quarter increased the margin to 26-0.
It was a needed home win after suffering two tough losses at Lehman and Midwood. The 13-12 loss to Midwood was a wake up call to the Seahorses to get back on the winning track.
“The home field advantage was good for us,” Chris Howard said. “We knew we needed to win. Every game now is a playoff game. We know that we’re a talented team.” Their confidence will be tested when they travel to Bayside this Sunday at 11 a.m. It will be the toughest game the Seahorses has faced all year.
The season is only midway through but Bayside has persevered after forfeiting a loss to JFK due to reported incidents involving players on MTA buses after school. At 2-1, they come off a 24-20 win over Brooklyn Tech and are in the top 10 overall in the PSAL standings.
Whitehead knows that it will take a team effort once again to defeat Bayside. “If we had lost this game, we would have put ourselves in the hole. We already had one foot against Midwood and now we’re stepping out of that hole and getting ourselves to a championship.”
Defensive tackle Ricardo Remy will return this Sunday to play against Bayside. The all-city senior returns to the starting lineup after injuring his left foot in a car accident before the beginning of the season.
Chris Howard may also return to the starting lineup after injuring his knee two weeks ago against Midwood. Homecoming Day, which was originally supposed to take place before the Tottenville game on Oct. 16, is now scheduled for Nov. 7 against Beach Channel.