Erasmus 26 Fort Hamilton 14
As the lowest remaining seeded team in the second round of the 2014 PSAL playoffs, the ninth seeded (7-4) Tigers met the top seeded (9-1) Erasmus Dutchmen at Sid Luckman Field, a place where the Tigers have had little success (0-3) over the past four years.
This year would be no different for Fort Hamilton as Erasmus got off to a strong first half start that would carry the Dutchmen to a quarter final playoff win and elimination for the late-surging Tigers.
As stated last week by junior quarterback Sharif Legree after Fort Hamilton’s win over New Utrecht, “The team that starts out fast from the beginning will definitely win no matter who they meet for the playoffs.” Adopting that “fast start” approach, Kefa Cort scored the first touchdown of the game for Erasmus on a 10-yard run which would set the tone for the first half as well as the rest of the game.
Not to be outdone by the Dutchmen, the Tigers rallied back with their first score on a three-yard run by Michael Brooks to end the first quarter to trail by just a point, 7-6. Brooks’ score would be the last for the Tigers as the Dutchmen continued their “fast start” on a 10-yard Jahsen Wint run, a 20-yard Aaron John fumble recovery return, and a five-yard Jahquel Webb sweep to give Erasmus a commanding 26-6 lead at the half.
The Dutchmen defense dug in deep to keep the Tigers scoreless throughout a hotly contested and penalty laden third quarter. Despite an 85-yard interception return by Devon Watts down to the Erasmus 10-yard line, the Dutchmen prevented the Tigers from scoring on a series of four downs late in the third quarter that proved to be the turning point of the game for Erasmus.
With time winding down in the fourth quarter, Seba Nekhet fought off two Dutchmen defenders to pull down a 30-yard pass to put the Tigers on the 20-yard line. From there, quarterback Sharif Legree ran in Fort Hamilton’s last score of the game in a too-little-too-late effort to end the Tigers’ unlikely 2014 playoff run which began with three consecutive losses to start the season.
Summing up the season, Head Coach Dan Perez stated, “We came together after starting the season 0-3. Who would have thought that we’d make it to the quarter final round of the playoffs! That’s the way the season goes; only one team will win it in the end and unfortunately it isn’t us this year. We had a great ride with our seniors and our juniors will step up next year.”
As the playoff season continues in the semi-final round, next Saturday first seeded Erasmus will host the upstart Warriors of sixth seeded Curtis, while second seeded Lincoln will host fifth seeded Grand Street Campus, one of this season’s new strong contenders.