Homecoming Day Successful For Victorious Dolphins
The number zero has been attached to the Beach Channel varsity football team in the standings and in the statistics.
It certainly wasn't a good thing.
Beach Channel wanted Homecoming Day to be the spark to turn around their season last Saturday afternoon against Long Island City. They had gotten on the scoreboard for the first time this season but the Dolphins desperately needed to get a win that would break their 0-3 start to the season.
With the score tied at 8-8 in the fourth quarter, QB Benjamin Burrello came off the bench to heave a 25- yard touchdown pass to Zacaharia Alston with 45 seconds remaining, to give the Dolphins a 16-8 victory. The Dolphins had a 0-3 record in the PSAL Bowl Division and had not scored any points in their losses to Campus Magnet, Grady and Grand Street this year.
With less than a minute in the game, the Dolphins needed their playmakers to step forward.
Alston, the burly linebacker and wide receiver, had scored the Dolphins' first touchdown of the year with an interception in the second quarter.
Burrello was the starting quarterback for the first three games of the season, but head coach Victor Nazario had switched the junior to strong safety for three quarters. Burrello was successful on defense, intercepting a ass thrown by LIC quarterback Christian Delvento in the first half. But in the fourth, head coach Victor Nazario reinserted Burrello in place of Dennis Bouderau at the quarterback spot.
As Burrello went back to pass from the 25-yard line, the quarterback found a streaking Alston going up the middle of the field.
Alston caught the ball at the Bulldogs' three-yard line and dived for the end zone to give the Dolphins a 16-8 lead.
Whatever penalties and miscues Beach Channel had committed were erased once Alston crossed into the end zone.
"It (the touchdown) took a lot off our shoulders. We needed those points and we got it in crunchtime," Burrello said.
Euphoria had finally reigned on the Dolphins' sidelines for the first time this season. Burrello knew the win was much needed.
"We all needed a win today. We all worked together as a team," Burrello said. "This does a lot. It boosts up our morale going into next game."
Beach Channel had begun to dominate possession on offense in the second half. Sophomore RB Tyrek Mceachin rushed for 105 yards on 22 carries.
Their defense had forced Long Island City into throwing three interceptions. The only score for the Bulldogs came on a 73-yard punt return touchdown by Troy Walker, to give Long Island City their only lead at 8-0 in the second quarter.
But the mistakes and penalties that haunted the Dolphins' slow start returned at crucial stages. But instead of a loss, the Dolphins found a way to convince the packed crowd in the standing that there still might be hope for this season.
Heartbreak instead turned into victory and an upbeat Nazario was celebrating the win while missing one of his teeth.
An assistant coach had inadvertently bumped Nazario's front lip and the loose tooth went flying out of his mouth and onto the turf.
Nazario didn't even mind the tooth and the subsequent blood loss. As he hugged his players for a job well done, Nazario, said he would trade in a tooth for a victory when the Dolphins host August Martin (2- 2) on Sunday at BCHS at 12 p.m.
"I tell you what, if I could win a game and loose a tooth every time we win, I don't care," a smiling Nazario said. "I'll have dentures by the end of the season. I'll make that sacrifice without a doubt."
Far Rockaway (2-2) was thrashed on the road, 38-0, by the streaking Campus Magnet Bulldogs (4-0) last Saturday afternoon. The Seahorses will try to regroup on the road at Grand Street Campus (4- 0) on Sunday, October 7 at 12 p.m.