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Lincoln makes statement with week 1 win over Erasmus Hall

September 8, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Jordan Hannah (19) hadn’t played quarterback in years, but looked like a veteran in his first varsity game as he threw for 144 yards, including one touchdown pass, and ran for another 92. He and the Lincoln Railsplitters are now 1-0 on the season after they beat Erasmus Hall 24-14 in a rematch of last year’s championship game. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese.
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After winning the city championship in each of the past two seasons, the Lincoln Railsplitters look entirely different this season with only one starter coming back from last year.

Fortunately for Lincoln, that one starter, Jordan Hannah, a 5-foot-6 wide receiver turned quarterback, was good enough to help the Railsplitters beat Erasmus Hall 24-14 in Coney Island on Friday night during a rematch of last year’s Public School Athletic League championship.

“This feels regular, we’re used to winning,” Hannah said. “We’re just going to keep winning. That’s it. I want to give a shoutout to my O-Line they did good, no, they did great today.”

Hannah, who was a receiver and defensive back last season, had played quarterback when he was younger, but hadn’t touched a snap in a few years. It hardly showed, though, as he completed 12 of 18 pass attempts for 144 yards with one touchdown. He also ran for another 92, eluding Erasmus Hall defenders throughout the game.

“I played quarterback when I was younger and the coaches helped me to bring it back,” Hannah said. “It was good. When you first come out you have the jitters because I never played varsity quarterback. I never thought I’d be quarterback (on this team), I thought I’d be a wide receiver. That’s it.”

Hannah and the Railsplitters fell behind early in the game when his counterpart, E-Hall’s veteran quarterback Aaron Grant, handed off the ball to Nelson Tyler for a 52-yard run that set up a two-yard touchdown run by Grant to make it 6-0 early.

Erasmus Hall couldn’t capitalize on its early momentum as it had a potential 70-yard touchdown pass called off due to a holding penalty and a punt-fake by Grant led to a turnover on downs that gave Lincoln the ball at E-Hall’s 38-yard-line.

“That was a big momentum boost for us because they scored on that first drive and then all of a sudden we’re able to stop them when they thought they had scored again,” said Lincoln’s head coach Shawn O’Connor. “That changes the game for us.”

Lincoln was able to take advantage as it cut the score in half, 6-3, when Axel Pembele nailed a 26-yard field goal at the start of the second quarter. The Railsplitters then made it 10-6 when Corey Wright scored on a two-yard run with 1:50 left in the half.

Lincoln’s new-look defense was also impressive as it kept Erasmus Hall from getting back into the game. Linebacker Moses Dupre picked off a pass with 23 seconds left in the first half and Daniel Hyman recovered a fumble at the start of the third quarter.

From there it was all Lincoln as the Railsplitters scored again on Wright’s second touchdown run of the game and then Hannah hit receiver Kevin Medy with a 57-yard pass to make it 24-6 with 11:02 left to play. Dejouree Addison did manage to score once more for Erasmus Hall with fewer than four minutes left to play, but the game was out of reach by that point.

“It’s a statement win,” Dupre said. “It’s a statement win because we had 32 seniors that graduated. Nobody thought we could do it, but we showed ’em that we know how to win.”

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