It did not take long for August Martin Football to make a statement against A-Tech, as it scored on its first play from scrimmage, a 60-yard touchdown bomb from senior quarterback Christopher Davis to senior Isaiah Allen.
The rest, as they say, was academic, as the Falcons, spurred by Davis’ five-touchdown performance, played impressive overall football en route to a 44-16 PSAL Cup Conference victory over the Panthers Sunday at John Adams High School field in Ozone Park, Queens.
Davis, who completed eight of ten attempts for 139 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for another, has transformed from an iffy, erratic signal caller to a competent on-field leader who is throwing with a true purpose.
Davis began the season with no experience behind center, thrust into action out of team necessity. But he said his improved play is due to an uptick in maturity and the learning factor, resulting in an increase in self-esteem.
“The difference in me is I’m maturing a lot more, learning a lot more, coach is teaching me a lot more,” Davis explained. “I’m getting better each game. I feel at the beginning (of the season) I was very nervous because there was a lot of weight on my shoulders to be quarterback, But now, I’m just going with the flow, and my team is helping me get better.”
Davis completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to senior Ishmael Acosta-Ramos, and senior Alex Benjamin converted the ensuing two-point conversion run to give August Martin (5-0) a 16-0 lead in the first quarter.
Davis threw a seven-yard TD pass to Allen, one of his favorite receivers, and ran in the two-point play himself for a 24-0 advantage early in the second period.
A-Tech (3-2) drew closer on a Malik Alexander touchdown and a two-point conversion to make it 24-8.
However, the Falcons responded, as Davis turned to his legs for a 11-yard score, making it 30-8 Then, Davis connected with Allen again, this time on a 32-yard TD pass, and Benjamin cashed in the two-point run to swell August Martin’s advantage to 38-8 near the end of the first half.
Not willing the throw in the towel, Alexander and the Panthers opened the second half on a 70-yard touchdown screen toss, with the successful two-point conversion cutting the deficit to 38-16.
But Falcon sophomore running back Giovanni Faulkner, who led his squad’s ground attack with 81 yards on seven touches, bolted for a 20-yard touchdown rush, capping the scoring at 44-16 late in the third period.
Allen, coming of a five-touchdown contest, scored three more versus A-Tech. That is eight in the last two games. Though Allen noted he got out of the gates a little slow, he said he is thrilled with the way things are coming together for him and his squad lately.
“I starting to get in my groove now,” said Allen, who corralled five passes for 109 yards. “I was a little bit inconsistent at the beginning, but now it seems, week by week, I’m making plays, and we’re getting better as a team.”
Senior Nicholas Fonseca enjoyed an excellent defensive game, recording six tackles, five for a loss, with three sacks. Senior Truwen Powell followed with five stops while Benjamin made four tackles, two behind the line of scrimmage. He also scored three two-point conversions.
Panthers senior quarterback Justin Rivera completed five of eight throws for 100 yards with two scores.
While it was not a flawless effort, August Martin Head Coach Kyle Allen said his boys did more than enough to secure the win and keep the Falcon train moving in the right direction.
“We did give up a couple of big plays that we worked on all week,” he said. “I was a little disappointed in that. But, overall, it was a pretty good performance. Offensively, we moved the ball, and I am happy with the result.”
August Martin squares off against Bryant Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Flushing Memorial Field.
— Jerry Del Priore