By Jerry Del Priore
New Utrecht’s junior varsity football team had numerous players on its roster, a large amount over Canarsie’s JV squad. To boot, the Utes fired up the crowd, yelling and banging on the gates on its way onto the gridiron for its game against the Chiefs, adding to the intimidation factor for a moment, varsity and assistant JV coach Kyle Allen said.
But Canarsie was able to shrug it off, and roll to a 28-16 win over New Utrecht Saturday on the road.
After playing to a first period stalemate, the Chiefs (1-1) drew first blood when sophomore quarterback Johnny Watson bolted for a 37-yard touchdown run that staked Canarsie to a 6-0 lead in the second quarter.
On the subsequent play, Watson, a promising player, caused a fumble, which was picked up by sophomore Tyrease Malone, who rumbled into the end zone for a 12-0 advantage midway through the second period.
Not to be out down, the Utes punched in a touchdown and the two-point conversion to slice the lead to 12-8 early in the third quarter.
But freshman Evens DeLouis scampered for a 35-yard touchdown rush, followed by the Chiefs’ successful two-point conversion play that increased their advantage to 20-8 at the end of the third period.
New Utrecht (0-1) refused to lay down, as a tipped ball, which landed in a Utes’ receiver’s hands for the 65-yard TD pass, cut the deficit to six points. New Utrecht converted the two-point conversion run to pull to within 20-16 at the 7:10 mark of the fourth quarter.
Not willing to stand by idly, DeLouis rushed for a 45-yard score, his second touchdown of the day. Watson followed with a two-point conversion run to increase the lead to 28-16 with 5:16 remaining in the tilt.
From there, Canarsie’s defense went into lockdown mode, coupled with its potent ground game, to shut the door on the Utes.
The victory was a first for first-year JV head coach Robert Palmer, who also guides the boys’ rugby team—PSAL champions for four of the six seasons of the sports’ existence.
“It’s great. It feels really good, actually,” Palmer said of getting on the win side of the ledger. “This will get us to next week.”
Palmer ultimately attributed the triumph to firing on all cylinders as the week of practice progressed.
“We just gelled this week,” said Palmer, an assistant on the varsity coaching staff. “They basically clicked. I noticed in the weight room Thursday they were going nuts. They were making it into a competition. With school starting this week, they got it together at the end week, so it was good.”
The JV Chiefs host Fort Hamilton Sunday at 11:00 a.m.