Kyron Jones had been trying to start a football program at Eagle Academy II for seven years before the school finally gave him the green light this year — and the team has won a city title in its very first varsity season.
“This is seven years in the making, and this is the culmination,” Jones said.
The second-seeded Eagles used a running attack to overcome a second-half deficit and defeat No. 3 Stuyvesant 34–23 in the Public School Athletic League Cup Conference football championship last Sunday night at Abraham Lincoln. Running back Jamal Trotman said the team used its resilience to bring home the crown.
“This is a team and we are built on five pillars, resilience being one of them,” he said. “We were down, but we showed resilience and we got back up.”
Eagle Academy II (12–1) trailed 16–14 with 7:18 left in the third quarter. It responded by scoring three consecutive rushing touchdowns. Trotman, Tymere Wilson and Remell Redd each found the end zone to put their team up 34–16 with 4:01 left in the game.
Jones said his team had the heart to come back once they went down in the second half. The Peglegs added a touchdown in the final minutes, but it wasn’t enough.
“One coach told me, ‘never underestimate the heart of a champion,’ ” said Jones, who is also the Brownsville school’s athletic director. “Those guys have the biggest heart.”
Eagle Academy II lead early when Muhammad Naseem found the end zone on the ground and the Eagles scored the two-point conversion to go ahead 8–0 in the first quarter.
Stuyvesant (12–2) came right back with nine points of its own. Henry Takizawa ran the ball in for a 15-yard score for the Peglegs, and then a couple of drives later hit a 27-yard field goal to put Stuyvesant up 9–8 with 4:08 left in the second quarter. After Wilson’s first touchdown, Takizawa scored again to put Stuyvesant ahead 16–14 early in the third quarter.
The Eagles defense, which recovered two fumbles in the fourth quarter, sparked the comeback that earned the crown.
Jones feels the school’s rigorous academics helped his players on the field, and also helped the school’s lacrosse boys’ team win a championship in its first varsity year as well.
“We are just holding them accountable for all of their actions,” Jones said. “What we preach in the classroom we preach on the field.”