By Jerry Del Priore
After shutting out Fort Hamilton, 34-0, last week, South Shore head coach Matt Ciquera told his team, and anyone in earshot, that it would beat perennial powerhouse Erasmus Hall in its next game.
Ciquera’s prophecy came true, as the Vikings (3-0) came out on the positive end of a thrilling 20-12 tilt over the Dutchmen (2-1) Friday afternoon at Sid Luckman Field in PSAL City Conference action.
While Erasmus’ roster just about doubles South Shore’s, the eight-year coach said his 11 troops on each offense and defense are among the top football players in Gotham.
“Well, like I said, I have confidence in the 11 guys I put on in the field,” Ciquera told BrooklynSportsWorld.com after the affair. “This program (Dutchmen) has a little bit more numbers and their very stocked with talented players. But I know the 11 guys that we field are some of the best 11 that New York City has to offer on both sides of the football.”
The Vikings opened the scoring on a 52-yard punt return by senior Darius Thompson to give the team a 6-0 advantage with 6:14 left in the first period.
Thompson connected with senior receiver Corliss Simpson on 27-yard touchdown reception, and the successful Brandon Smith extra point increased South Shore’s advantage to 13-0 with a little more than five minutes remaining in the first half.
Refusing to give into the E-Hall fanfare, the Vikings’ junior Jaquevious Sam’s nine-yard touchdown scamper and another point after TD swelled their lead to 20-0 early in the fourth quarter, and made it seem as if it would be a cakewalk.
However, E-Hall would fight back.
First, senior signal caller Tyrique Alston complete a 19-yard touchdown pass to bring the score to 20-6 midway through fourth period. Then, Alston hit junior Tyree Ogarro with 29-yard TD strike to slice the deficit to 20-12 with a little over four minutes left in the contest.
Now, it was a contest.
South Shore struggled on offense in latter part of the game, while the Dutchmen were able to move the ball into enemy territory, though the opposition’s defense stood tall.
But Erasmus Hall marched down the gridiron again, refusing to go quietly. With the pigskin at the Vikings’ 16, Alston connected with one his receivers inside the 10, but a jarring hit by senior Frankie Cullum forced a fumble, which senior Cameron Desisso pounced on at the five.
South Shore was able to resort to its potent ground attack to move the ball and eat up the clock the rest of the way, setting off a glorious post-game celebration.
Ciquera said he would’ve like to have pitched his third consecutive shutout but was nonetheless pleased with the final outcome.
“I wish we would’ve kept another donut of the board, kept the streak going,” he said. “We got a little sloppy late. Our fatigue definitely showed, but hey, listen, we were able to hold one of the most powerful teams in the city to 12 points. So, I will always be happy with that.”
The win should garner the Vikings with plenty of PSAL Football Power Points in the City Division.
Unbeaten South Shore travels to New Utrecht Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.
Watch Darius Thompson throw a 27-yard TD pass to Corliss Simpson in the second period.
Watch Jaquevious Sam rush for a nine-yard TD in the 4th quarter.