It wasn’t exactly the way August Martin High School Football wanted to play in its first game since November 2019.
The Falcons put forth a decent first half, taking a 8-6 lead over A. Philip Randolph Campus going into the locker room. But August Martin failed to mount any sustainable offense in the second half, and the Cougars scored eight more points to overtake the opposition, 14-8, in the end in the first non-league preseason contest of the year Sunday at Franklin K. Lane High School Field.
Head Coach Kyle Allen said he had his team scrimmage against a number of other higher-level squads to offset the lack of game action in approximately 20 months. He said the Falcons were able to work out a few kinks, but some players were bruised up, such as running back Judeley Francois, who rushed for 7.2 per carry (24) and three touchdowns in the 2019-20 campaign. The senior played defense, but did not see any rushing touches.
Therefore, it forced him to sub in a few youngsters in as a change pace with their regulars, and the Falcon ground game never caught fire.
“We were kind of banged up going in, because we had some tough, tough scrimmages,” Allen told BrooklynSportsWorld.com. “We scrimmaged Erasmus Hall, Canarsie, Sheepshead Bay (Frank J. Macchiarola), and also McKee/Staten Island Tech. We got a lot of work in because we haven’t played in so long, I wanted to throw them in the fire.
“We had Judeley Francois playing defense, but I couldn’t put him on offense,” he continued. “He gets our running game going and he couldn’t run the ball because he got an ankle injury.”
Plus, he said the offense line is still a work in progress.
“They’re coming along,” Allen said. “They did a pretty decent job for their first game out there.”
August Martin did force two turnovers–an interception and fumble recovery–which did not result in any scoring. It was something he said that it could have spelled the difference between winning and losing, though Allen did give credit to Eric Perlowitz, for coaching A.P. Randolph to a solid victory.
“We recognized everything that they were going to do,” he said. “They did nothing that we didn’t except. They just executed at key points in the game, and we didn’t capitalize off of the two turnovers in the game.”
However, Allen said the were a few individual bright spots for the Falcons. Senior Ismael Acosta Ramos had three receptions for 30 yards with a five-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Christopher Davis, who only took over the position in June, per Allen. But Davis completed 13 of 22 attempts for 115 yards with a TD, a two-point conversion pass, and two picks.
Additionally, Isaiah Allen, who holds an offer from Division I LIU and interest from Maryland and Wagner, collected 10 catches for 88 yards, had two carries for nine, and a 17-yard punt return. Plus, he played lockdown safety with six tackles and interception.
In addition to a nice offensive performance, Acosta-Ramos made a team-leading nine tackles, and senior Truwayne Powell chipped in with eight stops and a forced fumble.
Being a preseason game after an extra long layoff, Allen took the defeat in stride.
“We saw some good things,” the Brooklyn native explained. “But we were a little slow to the ball on defense and we had kids running out of position, and things like that. But those are things we’ll work out. They had the experience and they won’t do it again. That’s what preseason is about.”
A.P. Randolph had its ground attack in full motion, amassing 281 yards, with senior Saul Medina Taveras rushing for a game-high 112 yards on 15 touches and a score while Kelvin Brito, another senior, rang up 86 and a TD. Senior Eric Garcia contributed 73 yards in the triumph.
Allen is working on scheduling another preseason tilt next weekend before the regular season kicks off on Saturday, September 18th, at noon against host George Washington.
— Jerry Del Priore