South Shore football head coach Matt Ciquera’s motto is start fast, and finish faster. It’s something the fifth-year coach has been hammering home to his team all season long.
Taking the saying to heart, the Vikings jumped all over Brooklyn Tech, scoring 20 unanswered points even before Brooklyn Tech knew what hit them. The quick start helped propel South Shore to a convincing 48-16 victory over the Engineers Saturday on the road.
Heading into final game of the regular season next week, Ciquera said that it’s his duty as a coach to prepare his undefeated squad for a hopeful long playoff run and a shot at playing for the Championship.
“At this point, and you’re 9-0, and you’re telling your kids anything less, I don’t think you’re doing your job as a head coach,” Ciquera said of the possibility of playing at Yankee Stadium for the PSAL City Conference crown. “These kids have worked extremely hard to get in the position where at, so that has to be the focus.”
As the regular season concludes, with the top four PSAL teams receiving first round byes, Ciquera is handling next week’s affair like a postseason tilt. Therefore, the coaching staff will kick it up a notch because of what’s at stake.
“Just like I told the team two seconds ago, next week has to be treated like a playoff game,” Ciquera explained. “Because we know if we go out and get a W next week, that will ensure that were sitting at home for a first round bye and home playoff game.”
A team with limited depth, Ciquera believes the rest and home crowd support will only benefit South Shore.
“We’re not one of the deepest teams in terms of the number guys we have on the roster, and really from position to position,” he explained. “So, to give guys a week to kind of rest their bodies up, and give us two weeks of preparation for that first team we’re going to see will be a huge advantage for us. So, we’re definitely treating Curtis as our first round playoff game.”
The Viking’s first touchdown came on their initial offensive possession of the game when junior running back Rafael Cordero found pay dirt on a long run.
Jason Martin followed that up with two long passing touchdowns to seniors—one to Michael Watson on a post pattern, and the second to Marqus Campbell on a 70-yarder on a go route that put South Shore up by three scores early in the second quarter.
Brooklyn Tech (2-7) sliced the deficit to 20-8 on an Amani Murphy rushing TD midway through the second period.
But South Shore responded with a two-yard touchdown rush by senior running back Omar Jarrett and a successful extra point by senior kicker Ahmed Azeez to take a 27-8 lead with 4:04 left in the first half.
After a quick three and out for the Engineers, the Vikings quickly moved the ball down field, with Cordero capping the drive on a 10-yard rushing TD to swell their advantage to 34-8 with seconds remaining in the second quarter.
South Shore put the game out of reach on touchdown receptions by Juvensen Jeune and Watson in the third period before Brooklyn Tech capped the scoring on a short TD toss and a two-point conversion run near the end of the game.
The Vikings travel to Staten Island Saturday at 6:00 p.m. to face Curtis in the regular season finale.