High School Beat: Dutchmen still have plenty of ‘work’ ahead

September 25, 2012 By John Torenli Sports Editor
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Each victory is yesterday’s news to Erasmus head football coach Danny Landberg, who came within a Hail Mary completion of leading the Dutchmen to the Public School Athletic League Championship Division title last winter at Yankee Stadium.

Off to a 3-0 start in their quest to return to the Bronx in December for another shot at the coveted city crown, the Dutchmen (3-0) currently sit atop the CD rankings after putting up 12 fourth-quarter points in Saturday’s 26-12 victory over Campus Magnet (2-1) in Queens.

“We can do a little better,” Landberg told the Eagle on Tuesday of his team’s most recent performance.  “A little sloppy. We need a lot of work if we want to get back to Yankee Stadium.”

Last season, the Dutchmen opened with a 24-20 home loss to Campus Magnet en route to a disappointing 3-3 start before knocking off defending undefeated city champion Fort Hamilton in Week 7. Landberg’s unit proceeded to reel off six consecutive victories before a heartbreaking 20-12 defeat to Lincoln in the title game Dec. 6, denying the Dutchmen their first gridiron championship since 1987.

This year, Erasmus appears primed for a bid at a much more impressive regular season campaign after vanquishing each of its first three opponents, with a high noon showdown against Brooklyn rival Midwood slated for this Saturday.

Just don’t tell that Landberg, who likes to keep his team focused on the task at hand, rather than what’s behind or ahead of them.

“It’s a work in progress and everyday is a new day,” he noted. “We just want to get better every week. That’s what it’s all about.”

Junior running back Kahlil Lewin, who subbed for the injured Shaquell Jackson in last year’s championship game, is off to a strong start out of the Erasmus backfield this season, gaining 321 yards in the first three games, including a game-high 125-yard effort against the Bulldogs last Saturday. Lewin capped last weekend’s win with a sparling 84-yard TD run, thwarting any hopes of a Campus Magnet comeback.

Senior quarterback Matthew Domina, who is replacing Syracuse-bound star signal-caller Wayne Morgan, completed 6-of-10 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns with one interception for the Dutchmen, who are still nearly a month away from their Oct. 20 championship rematch with Lincoln at Sid Luckman Field.

The Railsplitters (2-1), coming off their first loss since the 2010 PSAL title game, bounced back in impressive fashion with Friday’s 30-14 triumph over Curtis. Junior running back Antoine Holloman Jr. racked up 144 yards on 30 tough carries for the defending champs, who will visit suprising New Utretcht (3-0) on Saturday.

As for the rest of Brooklyn’s Championship Division contenders: Boys and Girls (3-0) blanked Flushing, 34-0; Jefferson (3-0) snuck past JFK, 20-14, as senior defensive stud Ebenezer Ogundeko registered eight tackles and two sacks; New Utrecht edged Grand Street, 14-8; Canarsie (1-2) suffered a 28-6 loss at New Dorp; Midwood (1-2) fell to Beach Channel, 28-7; Brooklyn Tech (1-2) ended a season-opening two-game skid with a 32-0 home rout of Lehman; Once-mighty Fort Hamilton (0-3) remained winless with a 28-7 drubbing at Clinton; Sheepshead Bay (0-3) suffered a 40-13 pasting at Port Richmond.

Also, Poly Prep fell to 1-2 with a 47-28 loss to the Hun School and Xaverian fell to St. Joseph by the Sea, 46-35, at the Aviator Sports Complex. 
In local private school action off the gridiron, the new-look Brooklyn Friends girls’ volleyball team improved to 4-2 with a straight-set victory over Bay Ridge Prep on Monday.

Coach Felix Alberto’s team, which returns only two starters and four players from last year’s squad overall, took out their Brooklyn rivals, 25-19, 25-13.

“It’s a rollercoaster,” Alberto said of his team’s early season ups and downs. “I see signs of greatness and signs of inexperience.”

The Blue Pride Panthers topped Woodmere, 6-0, on Monday.

After falling to neighborhood rival Packer Collegiate in its last contest, the BFS girls’ soccer squad rolled to a 6-0 win over Lawrence Woodmere Academy, boosting its season record to 3-1-1. The boys’ team beat Bay Ridge Prep, 5-2, on Monday, improving to 3-1 under first-year coach Edson Elcock, a former Blue Pride Panther himself and also a member of BFS’ storied 2003 Class C State Championship Basketball Team, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in February.

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