Things were clicking on all cylinders for August Martin High School Football, as standout two-way player Isaiah Allen scored five touchdowns in almost every way possible, while the rest of the Falcons played stellar ball en route to a 62-0 lopsided PSAL Bowl Conference non-league victory over host Long Island City (2-2) Saturday afternoon.
After not playing football last season, Allen said his players have been chomping at the bit to hit the gridiron. Plus, it was hard to keep his backups from not showing what they can accomplish on the field. Therefore, maximum effort and performance resulted in a blowout win, and could be taken as running up the score. But he said that was not the case.
“We played great on all three sides of the ball,” Allen said of the team’s offense, defense, and special team’s performance. “Sometimes, it feels bad because you’re looked as a coach who’s running up the score. But at the end of the day, we have young kids, too, that don’t play a lot. So, in a game like that, I am putting in my younger kids and backup kids, and they still scored. I can’t control that. It’s frowned upon when you score a lot of points, but it’s also frowned upon when you don’t let everybody play. It’s like a catch 22. What am I suppose to do?
“These kids have been waiting to play football since 2019 during the pandemic”, he continued. “These kids are competing for college scholarships, and want to be seen by scouts and all of that stuff, too. So, you can’t blame the kids for wanting to get the ball and do what they’re good at doing, so they can put it on display. They may never do this again in their lives. Look what happened last year.”
August Martin (4-0) leaped out to a 22-0 lead, with Allen recording two pick-sixes and senior Truwayne Powell catching an 80-yard scoring bomb in the first quarter.
A more poised quarterback, senior Christopher Davis, who completed nine of 10 attempts for 236 yards and 3 TDs, connected with wide receiver Ismael Acosta-Ramos (two catches for 77 yards and a score) on a 38-yard touchdown reception to increase the advantage to 28-0 early in the second period.
“He played like a man,” Allen said of Davis’ performance versus LIC. “He played a lot more confident, he played a lot more consistent. He’s taking control out there now.”
A bad Bulldog snap out of the end zone resulted in a safety, and Allen retuned the ensuing kickoff for a TD and 36-0 lead midway through the second period.
Freshman Roman Summers recovered a fumble at the Falcons’ 49. After a few plays, Clifford “CJ” Smith, whose dad is Mr. Vegas, a popular Jamaican reggae singer, bolted for a nifty 32-yard rushing score, his first of the year, to swell the advantage to 42-0 at the half.
Senior Austin Clerjeau hit pay dirt on a two-yard rushing touchdown and converted the following two-point running play himself to give August Martin a commanding 50-0 lead late in the fourth period.
Allen scored the next two Falcon touchdowns: one on a 14-yard TD rush, and the next a Davis perfectly placed 25-yard touchdown toss to the back of the end zone for a 62-0 final score. He also had amassed 268 all-purpose yards, with three interceptions, totaling returns of 124 yards.
“I feel like this is the way I should’ve been playing all season long,” the 5-11, 160-pound Allen said. “I’m disappointed in myself that I’m just starting now to get into this rhythm. But I think I played pretty good, and we had a solid win. But I’m also going to stay humble and not let it get to my head, and going to keep playing and take it one game at a time.”
Doing his best to be bias, Coach Allen knowns his son Isaiah is talented, as he continues to put the pedal to the medal in order to reach football’s next level, sometime his dad said he cannot discourage.
“The kid’s good, and I can’t tell him to not play good; he’s 17,” he explained. “He’s on the field with other 17-year-olds. I can’t tell him, ‘hey, take it easy’. It’s not like he is going against little kids; he’s going against kids his age.”
A big reason for August Martin’s recent success has been its stingy defense, only surrendering one touchdown in the last 12 quarters, Allen noted.
Senior Truwen Powell led the Falcon defensive attack with six tackles, one for a loss, while senior Alex Benjamin registered five stops, three behind the line of scrimmage, and a sack.
Note: August Martin picked up the league win after Alfred E. Smith forfeited the contest.
The Falcons are scheduled to face Automotive Teach on Sunday at 1 p.m. at John Adams High School in Queens (101-01 Rockaway Blvd. Ozone Park, N.Y.).
— Jerry Del Priore