Seahorses Awake From Slumber To Defeat Tigers
Football players seek the means anywhere they can for inspiration when they step onto the field.
Far Rockaway's Davonne Gittens looked to the stands for an answer to help his team recover a second half 8-0 deficit to the visiting Evander Child Tigers.
Gittens got the handoff from QB Patrick Hernandez and raced down the sidelines for a 49 yard touchdown run which awoke the Seahorses from their game-long slumber.
Once teammate Gregory Ibe completed the sixyard touchdown run, Far Rockaway as a whole was inspired to run off 21 unanswered points and win their first game of the PSAL season, 21-8, last Saturday afternoon.
Coming off a 32-6 loss to Midwood, a week prior, the Seahorses turned what could have been an awful 0-2 start to even their record to 1-1.
The Seahorses started the game like they were still asleep in their beds at home. They went through a team-wide malaise that let Evander Childs take a 8-0 lead on a Ousmane Diallo one-yard touchdown run with only 29 seconds left in the second quarter.
Gittens said that the Far Rockaway coaching staff gave a good scolding on their lack of effort and execution during halftime.
As a means of atonement to the coaching staff and an important figure on the sidelines, Gittens said the run was a means to inspire his team to lift their heads. It was one of the ways that the senior runningback says his team got their sharpness back.
"I was looking at my father on the sidelines… and last week he was made at me that I had only 74 yards and a touchdown. He said that's not you and I was better than that," Gittens said.
Though Gittens didn't score, his day wasn't over. Far Rockaway was finally on the scoreboard and made enough improvements defensively to shutdown an Evander Childs rushing attack that had given the Seahorses fits in the first half.
Earl Armstrong, the senior MLB who recorded a team high eight tackles and a sack, said his squad was fired up from being challenged by his coaches.
He said the team took out their frustrations not on themselves but on their opponents.
"We just weren't hyped for some reason. In the second half, we just knew we were a better team than that," Armstrong said.
"Everybody did what we had to do. We got more aggressive on defense, we made turnovers, everyone got their blocks and we got the win."
Far Rockaway's offense was potent, scoring on three consecutive possessions in the quarter.
The ground attack, which Gittens compares with his teammate Ibe as the high school version of the New Orleans Saints duo of Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush, got to work. Ibe is the taller and stronger runner who can run inside. Gittens is the smaller but quicker runner and they both took turns in flying by the Evander Childs defense.
Ibe ran for 42 of his 101 total yards on the ground as he sprinted down the sideline for his second touchdown of the day to give the Seahorses their first lead at 12-8.
Far Rockaway forced a safety to take a 14-8 lead. Gittens awaited the ensuing punt on the 50-yard line and looked back to the sidelines to his father.
"He told me from the stands to score before the game is over," Gittens said
Gittens received the punt, and in a flash burst down the sidelines and danced to the middle to complete the 50-yard touchdown. The Seahorses got their first win and Gittens scored the TD.