By Jerry Del Priore
It was a tale of two halves for Canarsie.
The Chiefs did enough, though they didn’t play spectacular, to take a 13-12 lead into the locker room. But failed to put the Red Raiders away, as they overpowered Canarsie in the second half, handing it a demoralizing 34-19 defeat Saturday at home.
“We had the lead at halftime, and I told the kids ‘they’re not going to lay down for you,’” head coach Kyle Allen said. “In the first half, our defense played pretty sound. We bent a little bit, but we played sound. When we came out in the second, our defense stayed in the locker room. Our offense played well. We were able to stay in the fight for a while, but once we started missing tackles and giving up big plays, you know the moral to that story.”
Port Richmond (3-0) raced out to a 6-0 advantage in the first quarter after a long touchdown run.
The Chiefs answered back with a 50-yard touchdown bomb from senior quarterback Damario Spalding to senior running back Shawn Cabbell to knot the game at six midway through the second period.
The Red Raiders responded on the ensuing drive on a screen pass that went for a 15-yard score, staking them to a 12-6 lead with 1:12 remaining in the first half.
Not to be outdone, Canarsie (1-3) quickly marched down the field, capping the drive with a 28-yard TD strike from Spalding to senior receiver Darius Lancaster, with placekicker Ralph Foreste booting the extra point for a 13-12 advantage late in the half.
Senior Cyree Scott secured the first half lead with an interception.
But that was the last lead the Chiefs would hold, as Port Richmond scored on a 64-yard touchdown run on first and long early in the third quarter—a play that Allen said was the turning point in the game.
“In the second half, that big play, when we had them first and 25, and they broke a 60 yarder, that took the wind out of us,” he said. “From the point on, things went downhill.”
From there, the mistakes piled up for Canarsie. A bad snap on a punt gave the Red Raiders the ball at the Chiefs’ 17. Two plays later, Port Richmond signal caller Antonio Cotton tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass. The Red Raiders followed with the successful two-point conversion to give them a 26-13 advantage late in the third quarter.
On the next offensive possession, Canarsie turned the ball over on downs, giving Port Richmond excellent field position. The Red Raiders cashed in on the opportunity by tacking on another score, followed by a successful two-point conversion to extend their lead to 34-13 with a few minutes left in the tilt.
The Chiefs did have a moment of brightness when junior Tyleek Lowe returned the ensuing kickoff 60 yards for the touchdown, narrowing the gap to 34-19 late in the contest.
However, it was a little too late for Canarsie as it extended its losing streak to three games.
The Chiefs travel to the Bronx Friday for a 7:00 p.m. game against JFK.