By Jerry Del Priore
In a battle of undefeated PSAL Cup Conference teams Friday night, with a lot on the line, the Cardozo Judges’ potent ground attack showed up and showed out, gaining a total 268 rushing yards and four touchdowns en route to a 32-12 thrashing of the August Martin Falcons at home.
The Judges’ two-headed ground attack of standout senior running back Tyler Ragler and senior quarterback Wendell Sealy gaveled August Martin’s defense throughout the tilt.
Ragler, who looked unstoppable, compiled 146 yards on 11 carries with four touchdowns and Sealy amassed 101 yards on seven touches and also threw for a TD.
The Falcons (3-1) failed to establish any true offensive rhythm in the first half, as penalties and Cardozo’s defense thwarted any type of momentum. It seemed as if the Judges’ defense was renting space in August Martin’s backfield all night long, as they recorded numerous sacks and disrupted several Falcon offensive plays.
Head coach Kyle Allen said August Martin entered the contest pumped up for the action but had difficulty controlling their high-octane emotions early in the affair. That factor caused the Falcons any chance of obtaining a mental edge from the start of the game.
Thusly, handing it over to a quality squad like Cardozo (4-0), who capitalized on excellent first half field position. Factor in playing from behind, a new territory for the Falcons this season, he noted, and what you have is a recipe for a defeat.
“This is one of those games with high emotions,” Allen explained. “Early on in the game, if you let your emotions get to you, you lose momentum. And (lack of ) momentum was a killer (for us).
“They got momentum when it was early, they flipped the field and were on our side of the field (for) most of the first quarter,” he continued. “When you dig yourself a hole against the number one team in the conference, it’s kind of hard to get out of, especially since we haven’t been down all year. So, it was like a new thing for them to be losing.”
Sealy completed an eight-yard touchdown pass to senior Kemon Lardas for a 7-0 lead early in the first period. Next, Ragler hit pay dirt on a 12-yard run to extend the Judges’ advantage to 13-0 with less than four minutes to play in the quarter.
An elusive Ragler scored his second 12-yard TD that gave the Judges a 19-0 lead early in the second period and used a five-yard score to put Cardozo up by 25 points with three minutes remaining in the half.
Ragler found the end zone for the fourth and final time when he rushed for an eight-yard touchdown to put the Judges ahead, 31-0, followed by a successful extra point for a 32-point commanding lead with 9:01 in the third quarter.
Judges placekicker Constantin Mousious nailed two extra points in the victory
The Falcons were able to avoid the shutout while saving some face when junior signal-caller Tyler Parham connected with sophomore receiver Isaiah Allen twice for touchdowns in the fourth period.
Parham completed seven of 20 attempts for 94 yards with two interceptions, Allen had five receptions for 77 yards, and sophomore running back Alex Benjamin rushed for 79 yards on 13 touches while grabbing two passes for 17 yards.
Junior Nazire Blake Evans lead August Martin’s defense with six tackles, one for a loss, and a sack.
August Martin travels to the Bronx Saturday at noon to face A.P. Randolph at Harry S. Truman Field, while Cardozo visits Long Island City at 12:00 p.m.