Dolphins See The Bright Side In Loss
The Beach Channel Dolphins have kept fighting in a season that has been filled with heartbreaking losses. A 48-34 loss at Susan Wagner in Staten Island last Saturday cannot be categorized as one of them. For the first time this year, the Dolphins believed that they could compete with the best teams throughout the city.
The Dolphins (1-5) played their worst half this season and against the fifth best team in the city, Wagner capitalized on their mistakes. In his first start of the season at quarterback, Jerel Wilson was bombarded by a Wagner blitz and threw an interception on his first pass play. It was the beginning of three interceptions by Wagner in the next four Beach Channel drives.
When Lemonte Attles was inserted at quarterback at the end of the first quarter, his first throw was intercepted by linebacker Andre Cirino. By the end of the first half, the Dolphins looked shell-shocked and went into halftime down 36-6.
As they came back out for the second half, the Dolphins looked like a fresh and revigorated team. The offensive line created holes as RB Nathaniel Howard rushed for two touchdowns and 120 yards to make it 42-20. Attles finally found room to roam and passed for two touchdowns and 208 yards for the game. At one point, the Dolphins made it a game at 42-28 in the third quarter .
“We went in to the lockerroom, had our heads downs. Coach talked us to and we got energized to play football,” senior linebacker Michael Tyler said. ”I felt really good because we played the best half that I’ve had in my four years here.”
With a minute left in the fourth quarter leading 48-34, the Falcons curiously tried to score another touchdown instead of kneeling the ball to run out the clock.
Attles intercepted the first down pass and the Dolphisn got the ballback. Head coach Victor Nazario was incensed that Wagner coach Alan Patruzo looked as if he was trying to run up the score.
“I would never do that. I thought he was running the clock out. He tried to get cocky and throw it up in the end zone with thirty seconds left. That’s low class. That’s disrespect,” Nazario said.
If there is a bright side in this loss, it is how the Dolphins crisply moved the ball on offense. It is a growing sign that Nazario believes will help them compete in their final regular season games at Bayside (Saturday, 11 a.m.) and at Far Rockaway.
“It’s a shame I don’t have these seniors back next year”, Nazario said. “It’s all about experience and taking a year to do it. They’re playing better now”.
“This is the proudest I have been of the guys out of any loss we have had this year”, Nazario said to his team about his team after the game.
With his team’s great second half, Nazario is very confident that his team can upset Queens division leader Bayside (5-1).
“We’re beating Bayside and you can put that on the record.”