FRHS,BCHS Lose In PSAL Football Opener
On a sunny but humid and stagnant Saturday afternoon in Bensonhurst, the Seahorses of Far Rockaway had carried a lead at halftime against New Utrecht. Enthusiasm was expressed by the players as they headed into the locker room.
The second half wasn't as pleasing to the visiting team. New Utrecht would wake up from their first half slumber and would blitz the Seahorses for 30 consecutive points. By the time the whistle had ended, the Utes had won 36-8.
The end of the first half should have provided the lift Far Rockaway, with new head coach Walter Wilkerson, was looking for. WR Ednut Egberongbe pulled down a five yard fade route from QB Balkar Singh in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown as time ran out in the second quarter.
With the score 8-6 and with the team heading into the locker room, the first sign of ominous warning happened when Eberongbe fell to the turf. Dehydration was the cause and it was of the signs that foretold a second half in which the tired legs of Far Rockaway could not handle the Utes running game.
RB Alexander Warden pounded Far Rockaway's defense into submission, as he ran through large opening for 201 yards and three touchdowns, which were all scored in the second half. Warden ate up big chunks of the field and scored the first of his three consecutive TDs on the Utes first drive. The 5 yard touchdown run gave them a 14-8 lead. The Seahorses could not keep possession of the football and New Utrecht would get the ball back. On their next series, Warden ran down the left sideline for a 25 yard touchdown run to make it 22-8.
Wilkerson wasn't pleased with his team's lack of preparation and inconsistency and it would prove to pay a price. The humidity also affected their stamina as a tired bunch hopes to rebound with a better effort at home on Saturday against John Adams (11 a.m.)
"They (New Utrecht) came out in the second half like they wanted to finish the game. We came out like the game was already won," Wilkerson said. "Games are won Monday through Friday and not just on Saturdays. It includes everyone working hard at practice. It's the first game. We got things to work on and we need to make some improvements."
Head coach Victor Nazario made his return to the sidelines for Beach Channel in his second stint with the team in a road game. He was thrilled to return as skipper but wouldn't be pleased with the result of his first game back.
Brooklyn Tech gave the visiting Dolphins a lesson in efficiency and execution in a 27-0 victory last Saturday afternoon. Crucial mistakes would haunt the Dolphins all day.
The higher ranked Brooklyn Tech got their day off to nice start with a 32 yard touchdown run by Justin Hassan on their first possession of the game. Hassan would pierce the Dolphins middle and went untouched for a 7-0 lead.
The Dolphins defense caused two Engineer turnovers but could not capitalize. An offensive possession led the Dolphins to the 22 yard line but QB Benjamin Burrello's pass to Marcel Guilliod, who made five catches in the game, was tipped and intercepted by Brooklyn Tech's Kelvin Guillen.
A roughing the punter penalty gave the Engineers the ball back in the second quarter. The drive would end when QB Geroge Rowan took one step back in the pocket and completed a 19 yard fade pattern to Nathaniel Smith, who beat cornerback Walter Williams for a 14-0 lead. When the second half began, t. Alexander Gaspari returned a 85 yard kickoff to lead 21-0.
Nazario admitted that the team needs to make adjustments when they host Grady on Saturday at 11 a.m.
"We, including the coaching staff and the players weren't ready. They (Brooklyn Tech) are very fundamentally sound. They are tough on defense," Nazario said. "My kids were tough. Brooklyn Tech wasn't physically manhandling us but what cost us the game was those plays. We're not panicking and shuffling people around. There is no need to panic. Its one game."