High School Beat: Unbeaten Erasmus, defending champion Railsplitters reach city semifinals
The rematch we’ve all been waiting for – and waiting for – is finally within sight.
Unbeaten Erasmus Hall and defending PSAL Bowl Division champion Lincoln are each just win away from squaring off for the third time in less than 12 months after both advanced to the city semifinals with stirring victories last weekend.
The Dutchmen (10-0) held off Brooklyn rival Sheepshead Bay, 38-30, at Sid Luckman Field on Sunday, keeping them on course for a return to Yankee Stadium, where they dropped a heartbreaking 20-12 decision to the Railsplitters (8-2) in last year’s PSAL BD Championship Game.
Coach Danny Landberg’s title-hungry unit, which edged Lincoln 27-26 in a regular-season showdown on Oct. 20, must now contend with Staten Island’s Curtis High School in the semifinals.
The Warriors (5-3) knocked off Boys and Girls, 20-6, in our fair borough last weekend to earn a berth to the coveted Final Four.
The ‘Splitters needed junior Jamiek Davis’ third touchdown catch of the day – a leaping grab in the end zone with only 26 seconds to play – to sneak past Port Richmond, 34-28, on Sunday.
Lincoln coach Shawn O’Connor, who admitted last week that some of his players had been hit hard by the havoc wreaked by Superstorm Sandy, would doubtlessly relish an opportunity to take the ‘Splitters back to the Bronx for the city championship game for the third consecutive year.
In 2010, Lincoln suffered an 8-6 loss to Fort Hamilton in the title tilt before rebounding with last year’s narrow triumph over Erasmus to capture the program’s first grid crown since 1990.
However, the ‘Splitters have a formidable semifinal challenge in front of them with S.I.’s Tottenville (9-1) laying in wait across the Verrazano Bridge. Coach Jim Munson’s Pirates blanked red-hot Brookyn Tech, 28-0, last week, fortifying their position as the No. 2 seed.
Tottenville was slated to meet Erasmus in a critical game for playoff seeding on Nov. 3, but that game was postponed and eventually cancelled following the biggest storm to hit the tri-state area in over half a century.
If the Pirates can knock off the ‘Splitters, we might finally get to see those teams battle it out for all the marbles come the first weekend in December.
If not, Lincoln-Erasmus Part III should be every bit as thrilling and exciting as the last two meetings between the rival programs.
And would also guarantee a Brooklyn school the city title for the third consecutive season.
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