By Jerry Del Priore
All of last season, August Martin Football won three games. This year, after routing Information Technology, 44-6, Saturday at Campus Magnet High School Field, the Falcons already have three victories early in the 2019 PSAL Cup Conference campaign.
While August Martin (3-0) is off to an undefeated start, head coach Kyle Allen is tempering his excitement for now and knows there are certain areas the team needs to improve upon going forward, especially against tougher squads.
“It feels great to have a better start than last year, but I’m also realistic about what lies ahead, and I know the level of competition is going to increase as the weeks go by,” Allen explained. “We can’t make mistakes that we made today. We got to limit penalties because we’re going to run into teams that are going to make us pay for those mistakes.”
The Falcons struck first when sophomore receiver Isaiah Allen scored on a 37-yard touchdown strike from junior quarterback Tyler Parham, with the Falcons converting the two-point play for an 8-0 lead early in the first quarter.
Parham ran in August Martin’s second TD of the first period, while sophomore running back Judeley Francois cashed in the two-point conversion for 16-0 advantage.
Though the Falcons held a 16-0 lead in the first half, they knew they needed to increase their intensity in the second half in order to put the game away.
“I feel like in the beginning, I say the first half, we played a little sloppy,” Isaiah Allen said. “After, in the second half, we started picking it up. In the fourth quarter, we started to turn it up.”
Sophomore running back Alex Benjamin bolted for a 39-yard rushing score to increase August Martin’s lead to 22-0 early in the third quarter.
But the Blackhawks (1-2) ruined the Falcons’ shutout attempt with a kickoff return that went the distance, slicing the deficit to 22-6 with 7:16 remaining in the third period.
However, Parham scampered for a 29-yard touchdown rush and Francois converted his second two-point run of the day to extend August Martin’s advantage to 30-6 late in the third period.
Parham linked up with Allen again, this time on a 22-yard dump pass, as he broke a few tackles and found the end zone for 36-6 lead with 4: 15 left in the tilt.
Benjamin capped the Falcon’s scoring with another rushing TD and Parham hit paydirt on a quarterback sneak.
Parham connected with Allen through the air twice on scores and also ran for two touchdowns himself while completed seven of 18 pass attempts for 145 yards.
Becoming their own dynamic duo version for August Martin, Parham said he can count on his partner when it comes to air assaults on the opposition in a crunch.
“We have a pretty good connection,” Parham said of his on-the-gridiron relationship with his go-to receiver. “We have been working together all throughout the summer and into the season. We have gotten better as a duo. I can rely on him when I need him in a hard situation.”
Benjamin ran like a bulldozer, rushing for 116 yards on nine carries, with two touchdowns.
“I feel I played to best of my ability today,” Benjamin said. “But it was the line that was blocking for me. None of this would be possible without the line.”
Allen sang the praises of his three top players, including his signal-caller, whom, he said, has stepped it up in the maturation department.
“Tyler Prham has been playing lights out,” Allen said. “He’s being a general out there. He’s really leading the team. Tyler has grown so much week to week. He has gotten control of emotions.”
Plus, he added, “Isaiah is playing his behind off, and Alex is playing well, too.”
The Falcons travel to Bayside, Queens, on Friday at 6:00 p.m. to take on Benjamin N. Cardozo in a battle of undefeated teams.