Far Rock Rolls Over August Martin
Shaun Wheeler and Balkar Singh are just two of the many young members of the Far Rockaway Seahorses who needed to emerge as key players this year. Wheeler, a junior offensive and defensive lineman, and Singh, a sophomore quarterback who started on the junior varsity level in 2004, were entrusted with key roles and expected to give positive contributions by head coach Anthony Miele.
As August Martin found out on Homecoming Day last Saturday, Wheeler and Singh performed as well as their teammates. Singh completed 4 of 5 passes for two touchdowns and 129 yards and Wheeler created gaping holes on the OL as Far Rockaway had no troubles in blowing out August Martin 54-0.
With a five game winning streak to increase their record to 5-2, Far Rockaway has placed itself in a position where they control their own destiny in making the playoffs. But their road gets no easier as the team that has been perennially been the best team in Queens, Bayside, heads to Far Rockaway in the most important matchup the Seahorses have had this year on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Wheeler also made an impact with three sacks on defense as the Seahorses tortured an anemic Falcons offense that was without the services of all-city runningback Roderic Reese.
RBs Karl Allwood, Jeremy Pruitt was the main beneficiaries from the blocking of the offensive line. Allwood had a banner day following the blocks made by Wheeler and guard Earl Armstrong for 225 yards on the ground and scored four touchdowns running and receiving.
It was Wheeler’s return after missing the first game of the season which has strengthened a young and burgeoning offensive line. As they’ve have fortified, the running game of Allwood and Pruitt have gotten more chances to run the ball effectively. The offense has seen an infusion of energy and has scored 190 points in five games after not scoring a point in the first two losses of the season to New Dorp and Columbus.
“We worked hard in practice. We’ve had our ups and downs but we come together as a family and we’ve made things happen,” Shaun Wheeler said after the game. “Karl is a good back and as long as he keeps running and we keep blocking for him, things will be good.”
After turning away the Falcons on their first series, the Seahorses marched down the field for their first score. Pruitt finished a quick 35 yard drive with a 10 yard run to make it 6-0 early in the first. August Martin, who fell to 0-7 and are plummeting down in the standings of the PSAL, kept reeling from then on.
Far Rockaway scored five times in the first half to gain a commanding 34-0 lead at the half. Alwood carried two defenders to end zone to complete a 13 yard run to make it 12-0. Sophomore CB Michael Shaw has started to emerge on defense and intercepted Falcons QB Mustafa Young and scored untouched for a 26 yard touchdown return to make it 20-0.
The defense continued to make impressive plays and none more so than the athleticism of Steven Flake at cornerback. With August Martin making their only serious drive of the game, Flake jumped in front of a pass, batted the ball with one hand in the air to himself as he landed on the ground with the ball. In one motion, Flake spinned around and ran back 75 yards to the end zone for a commanding 28-0 lead.
Singh has acclimated to the tough task of taking over as the head signal caller in the third game of the year against Evander Childs. He hasn’t been asked to throw the ball a lot but Singh has been efficient and believes he’s getting better every week.
“I’m a lot more comfortable than I was in the first game. I was nervous. I wasn’t expected to start at the varsity level at all at least until my senior year,” Singh said.
Singh and Wheeler will have to rise to the occasion along with their teammates according to Coach Miele if they want to beat Bayside.
The Commodores find themselves in a must win situation due to their record at 3-4. They have lost decisions to JFK, Port Richmond and Tottenville, who are among the top teams in the PSAL standings. Their record may be under .500 but they can’t be underestimated with their running game featuring Jon Morrison and a physical team on both sides of the ball.
“We still got to work on the basic things. We’re not playing games. We got one chance to take advantage of everything that we have prepared for this season, admitted Coach Miele after the game.
“We know what’s happening. We got to play one hell of a game and have no mistakes and no turnovers to win this game. We know what we have. We’re at a good point right now.”
Dolphins Lose Again
Beach Channel continued their slide as Bayside drubbed the Dolphins 44-0 at Bayside Field. The Dolphins’ record fell to 1-6 as they let their opponents score 34 first half points. Beach Channel will play at winless August Martin on Saturday at 11 a.m.