Defensive stop leads to important win for New Utrecht
New Utrecht head coach Alan Balkan couldn’t speak — he literally couldn’t speak after losing his voice during the team’s Saturday game.
Balkan was also speechless because, for the second week in a row, the Utes made a goal-line stand on defense to win a close game against a tough Brooklyn opponent.
“That defense on the goal line was just … I don’t even know what to say,” Balkin said. “Two weeks in a row, two big goal-line stands. I don’t know how they did it, but that is fun football.”
A fourth quarter goal-line stop turned into a quick touchdown en route to an eventual 16-0 New Utrecht victory over Brooklyn Tech in Fort Greene on Saturday.
New Utrecht led Brooklyn Tech 8-0 at the start of the fourth quarter when Tech managed to get the ball to New Utrecht’s four-yard line. The Utes bent as the Engineers made it to the one-yard line, but they didn’t snap as junior Dayquan Russell stopped Tech’s quarterback Elijah Rueda on a fourth-and-goal play that kept them off the scoreboard.
“That goes back to last week at South Shore,” Russell said afterward. “We were at the two-yard line when Bryan Burroughs and Cintrell Johnson told me to stop anyone from going over the top [of the pile]. I saw the play right here and I said, ‘Oh snap, I’m about to go over the top again.’ I did that and we managed another big goal-line stop again.”
After the Utes took the ball over at their own one-yard line, quarterback Angelo Carrera rushed up the middle a couple of times to give the offense some breathing room. Carrera then handed the ball off to Russell, who ran it down the field 82 yards for a touchdown.
“That’s Dayquan, he’s a really good player,” Walid Othman said. “He’s only a junior, but he plays both sides of the ball for us and is already a leader on this team. He makes us better because he’s a fighter, and we try to keep up with his intensity.”
New Utrecht got just enough offense to win the game, including a third-quarter touchdown pass from Carrera to Othman that made it 8-0 — but it was its impressive defense that won the game.
The Utes actually had two big goal-line stops during the game as they managed to stop Tech from scoring in the first quarter after a 27-yard pass from Rueda to Alpha Gamby put them at the two-yard line. Lawrence Menyah put the ball in the end zone on the next play, but it was called off due to holding, and the defense picked up a sack that sent Tech back to the 18-yard line, ultimately killing the drive.
The defensive player of the game for New Utrecht was Khadeen Dryden. The big lineman, who has offers from Syracuse, Maine, Temple, Georgia, Buffalo, Rhode Island and UMass, had three sacks. Avery Waterton, and Gianni Penso also had sacks.
Russell led the team offensively with 150 yards rushing plus another 15 yards on kick returns. Carrera threw for 70 yards, including a touchdown pass, and ran for an additional 13 yards. For Brooklyn Tech, Rueda threw for 146 yards and Gamby had 76 yards receiving.
It was a big win for the Utes as both teams entered the game undefeated. However, they have to continue to prove themselves as they have big games coming up against Fort Hamilton and Grand Street Campus over the next two weeks.
“I think we can go far,” Othman said of New Utrecht’s chances this season. “We’re a young team, but we have good discipline. We work hard in practice, go over our plan and we have done a good job executing the last couple of weeks. We need to just keep practicing hard and continue to prove ourselves.”