By Jerry Del Priore
It was a day the Canarsie varsity football team would like to forget. The Chiefs struggled on the gridiron all game long, committing numerous penalties and three turnovers, leading to 18-6 loss to New Utrecht Saturday on the road.
Head coach Kyle Allen attributed the defeat to lack of dedication to practice during the week and plethora of infractions committed during the game.
“We shot ourselves in the foot all week long in practice,” Allen explained. “We had kids not showing up on time, kids not showing up at all. We shot ourselves in the foot so much, that we shot both of our feet off even before we got off the bus. We kept shooting ourselves by jumping offsides. Some of the penalties were questionable, but you can’t win when you keep committing fouls.”
After a scoreless first quarter, the Utes scored on a seven-yard touchdown rush by junior signal caller Miquin Jenkin Davis for a 6-0 advantage early in the second quarter. New Utrecht (2-0) had its chance to extend its lead. But defensive pressure on Davis caused an errant throw, which senior cornerback Shawn Cabbell picked off, and returned to Canarsie’s 19 to thwart its drive late in the first half.
Unfortunately for the Chiefs, senior quarterback Damario Spalding threw an interception of his own, the first of two, late in the second quarter, ending any threat of tying the game going into the locker room.
Canarsie (1-1) fell even further behind when Davis bulldozed his way into end zone on fourth and one for a one-yard TD and a 12-0 lead in the third period.
Though tempers flared in the second half when a verbal quarrel between fans – including some parents – and a referee caused stoppage of play, the situation was worked out without incident. The dispute stemmed from a confrontation between a Chiefs player and a referee, according to sources close to the situation.
More importantly, however, Allen gave credit to his players who were able to control their emotions, and concentrate on the contest at hand.
“I’m proud of my boys for the way they handle it,” Allen said. “It got a little bit edgy, but then they were able to calm themselves down, and stayed focused on the football game, even though there were extracurricular things happening off the field.”
As for the parents, Allen said: “As upset as they were, they were able to regain composer for the sake of the boys, and the sake of the game. They’re really good people. So things got little heated, but they were able to control themselves.”
The Utes tacked on another touchdown when Davis, who rushed for 120 yards on 13 carries, ran straight up the middle for an eight-yard score, increasing their advantage to 18-0 midway through the fourth quarter.
Canarsie answered back on the ensuing play, as Cabbell found pay dirt on an 85-yard kickoff return, narrowing the gap to 18-6 with 4:04 remaining in the tilt.
But that’s as close as the Chiefs would get, as their defense was unable to give the ball back to their offense the rest of the way.
Canarsie hosts Fort Hamilton in its home opener Saturday, September 19 at noon.