Dutchmen maintain division lead by spoiling Tigers’ homecoming
Erasmus Hall 14, Fort Hamilton 0
A crisp sunny Saturday afternoon brought a big turnout for Fort Hamilton’s homecoming game against Erasmus Hall, the team that broke the Tigers’ 38 consecutive regular season game-winning streak last season.
Just less than a year ago, the then 6-0 Tigers lost to the 3-3 Dutchmen who went on to play in the PSAL championship final at Yankee Stadium. Now with the tables turned, the 0-5 Tigers were hoping to ride the day’s emotion to steal a win from the league leading 5-0 Dutchmen.
“I guarantee a win today,” said an optimistic Kaye Houlihan, the recently appointed principal of Fort Hamilton. Despite the game’s outcome, that air of optimism carried onto the field which saw a pumped up Tiger team manage to hold the Dutchmen to just 14 points – the least number of points that Erasmus has scored against any other team thus far this season.
Early in the first half, the Tigers held the Dutchmen on four successive downs at their own 15-yard line for the change of possession. But that success was quickly eclipsed by a 35-yard pass play across the middle to Kefa Cort, who rumbled down to the Fort Hamilton 5-yard line.
On the ensuing play, Erasmus quarterback Matthew Domina (8 for 13 attempts for 177 yards) found Loumell Petion on a 5-yard pass in the end zone for the first score of the game. Erasmus’ touchdown was followed by another pass from Domina to Elijah Davis for the 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead that would hold up until the end of the first half.
Still hopeful for their first win of the season, the Tigers put a third-quarter drive together but squandered it again. After Travon Reid Segure out jumped his defender to pull down a 30-yard pass at the Erasmus 25-yard line, the Dutchmen defense held tough as Tiger quarterback Eddie Lee was sacked for a loss on a fourth and ten.
After continuing to slug it out in a scoreless second half, the Dutchmen offense suddenly found life mid way in the fourth quarter. After a punt return to the Fort Hamilton 40-yard line, Domina again connected with Kefa Cort, this time on a slant over the middle for a 55-yard pass play that saw the sophomore outrun the whole Tiger secondary for the final score of the game.
“They’re unbeaten for a reason,” commented Fort Hamilton Head Coach Dan Perez on his Erasmus opponent. “We threw them a pretty good game today, but we made too many mistakes to win. We felt today that if we could win that we be back in it [the playoff picture]. Now we have to finish what we started; the season’s not over yet.”
Commenting on the win, Erasmus Head Coach Danny Landberg stated, “I’m glad we got out of here with the win on their homecoming day and also in one piece. Fort Hamilton has been banged up all season without a hundred percent of their guys; but they played us tough this game. I expected that from this well coached team.”
Landberg went on to state that his team was called for too many penalties and may have been focused on next week’s game with Lincoln. “I’ve got to get the team to focus next week,” stated Landberg. “I’ve got to get them sound on both sides of the ball for Lincoln.”
As for 0-6 Fort Hamilton, they will take on another top PSAL contender for their last home game, the always-competitive Boys High, while the 6-0 Dutchmen prepare for a home showdown with last season’s 2011 City Champs, the 5-1 Lincoln Railsplitters.
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