No loss is a good one, but Erasmus Hall falling to Tottenville in the final game of the regular season led to a shake up of the running game that coach Danny Landberg had long been pondering.
The rushing load was spread out amongst more backs after a bye week. Shavar Brathwaite, and Keon Gravenhise were given bigger roles. The change led to three different players scoring on the ground for top-seeded Erasmus Hall in a 26–14 victory over No. 8 and visiting Fort Hamilton in the Public School Athletic League City Conference football quarterfinals last Saturday.
“I was just trying to improvise and try to figure out how to use what we have in the best situation,” Landberg said.
Gravenhise ran for 70 yards on 12 carries, and Brathwaite compiled 64 yards on eight rushes. Jahquel Webb carried the ball twice for 24 yards, including a nine-yard score to put the Dutchmen up 26–6 at the half. Kefa Cort ran for 23 yards and a touchdown on three carries. Jahsen Wint also added a score.
Getting off to a quick start was important against a Fort Hamilton team that had won four straight after losing to the Dutchmen 28–22 back on Oct. 18. Aaron John recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown to highlight a 19-point second quarter for Erasmus Hall (10–1). Freshman Matt Jones, who is now starting at nose guard, helped slow down the Fort Hamilton attack.
“Coming out fast and strong and aggressive was the game plan,” Landberg said. “That being done was a very important part of our momentum.”
Fort Hamilton (7–5) couldn’t take advantage of a long Devon Watts interception return in the third quarter, but still got itself back in the game. Sharif Legree ran for a three-yard touchdown to pull Fort Hamilton within 26–14, but that was as close as it got.
Erasmus hosts No. 6 Curtis at noon on Nov. 29 in the semifinals. The Dutchmen beat the Staten Island school 22–0 in the third week of the season, but Landberg doesn’t expect it to be that easy the second time around.
“We expect them to come out rocking and socking, ready to fight,” he said. “We just have to give it our A game and make sure we carry out our plan.”
Eagle Academy II 20, Adlai Stevenson 18: Ramell Redd carried the ball 18 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns for second-seed Eagle Academy (11–1) in the Public School Athletic League Cup Conference semifinals. Eagle Academy heads to the title game in its first season as a varsity team. Redd also caught a 48-yard touchdown pass. Du Sean Barnett completed six of seven passes for 138 yards a touchdown. Brian Varick, Charles Hinton, Claude McCammon, and Tisshun Williams all collected interceptions. Eagle Academy II faces No. 3 Stuyvesant in the championship game at 6 pm Sunday at Abraham Lincoln.