By Jerry Del Priore
The Canarsie Chiefs’ football game against Wagner began well with the team scoring first on a Johnny Watson rushing touchdown after stopping Wagner on its first possession.
But the Falcons ran a kickoff back on the ensuing drive, and things spiraled down from there as the defense surrendered 331 yards and six touchdowns in Canarsie’s 44-27 PSAL City Conference defeat Saturday at home.
Head coach Kyle Allen attributed the loss, in part, to the team’s inability to handle adversity and concentration when the going got tough.
“We scored first, and then kicked the ball off and they ran it back and got the conversion, and it’s 8-7,” Allen said. “And everybody starts panicking. It’s not only the adversity – it’s staying focused and making plays when we need to.”
Moreover, Allen said one thing he needs more of is a better performance from the defensive line, which was victimized all day, and didn’t display the same type of effective play in past tilts this season.
“Up front our D-line got pushed around today,” he said. “There was no presence, no pressure. What we saw in the last few weeks – they were in the backfield, disrupting plays, had sacks, forced fumbles – none of that happened today.
“We scored 27 points against a good team, but we gave up 44,” the fifth-year coach added. “When you score 27 points, you’re supposed to win.”
On the bright side, however, the Chiefs proved they could run the ball effectively, as they amassed a total of 287 yards with four touchdowns.
Junior running back Watson rumbled for his second straight 200-yard contest with a game-high 205 yards with three scores. Tymel Mabry, another junior, hit pay dirt on a fumble recovery in the backfield, which he picked up and proceeded to bolt for a touchdown to end the game.
Junior Jamel Cayard led Canarsie’s defense with 11 tackles while sophomore Adisa Isaac and junior Bencarthur Noel had seven stops each.
Canarsie travels to Sid Luckman Field Saturday at noon to face Erasmus Hall Campus.