August Martin Football, rated No. 15 in the PSAL Cup Conference playoffs, may not have played its best game. But the Falcons played well enough to take down second-seeded Fredrick Douglas Academy, 20-8, in the first round of postseason action Sunday afternoon at Columbus High School.
It marked the first time in a long time that August Martin won a playoff tilt, and Coach Kyle Allen’s first postseason victory in his coaching career after making it twice with Canarsie.
While he said a win is a win, especially in the postseason, Allen was not completely happy with his team’s overall performance, especially his typically fierce defense.
“For the most part, we were able to control the line scrimmage for the majority of the game,” Allen explained. “We were more a like a bend-don’t-brake type of defense today. which isn’t really our style. We’re really like a 1000 miles-per-hour-caged-animal defense. I didn’t feel that today. But we did enough to win the game. I guess, in the playoffs, that’s what matters. Just got to find a way to win.”
The Falcons got on the scoreboard first after senior Judeley Francois scored a rushing touchdown for a 6-0 lead early in the first quarter.
August Martin forced the Lions into a quick punting situation, which resulted in solid field position at the 50-yard line. The Falcons went to work, as the lethal combination of senior quarterback Christopher Davis to senior Isaiah Allen resulted in a TD connection and a 12-0 advantage late in the first period.
However, a miscommunication on a FDA punt bounced off a August Martin player, then a Lion player recovered the ball. FDA proceeded to march the pigskin down the gridiron, with William Minggia scampered for a 20-yard touchdown rush to cap the drive, and a successful two-point that sliced the deficit to 12-8 midway in the second quarter.
But the Falcons responded when Davis connected with Allen on a 40-yard scoring strike, and sophomore running back Giovanni Faulkner cashed in the two-point run for a 20-8 lead late in the second half.
While August Martin’s offense moved the ball somewhat, it failed to score in the second half, though hurt by an illegal formation penalty that negated a 32-TD. But it did not matter, as the Lions never mounted any serious threats.
The Falcons’ defense, while it did not play thier usual lights out style, it held FDA to 147 yards of total offense.
Francois led their defense with eight tackles while Allen and senior Truwen Powell made five stops apiece, with Allen recording three behind the line of scrimmage. Senior Nicholas Fonseca added four tackles, one for a loss, and senior Ismael Acosta-Ramos chipped in with three stops and an interception. Angel John, another senior, made four tackles.
August Martin’s offense amassed 183 yards, as Davis completed seven of nine passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Allen had another impressive contest, with five receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
The Falcons travel to Brooklyn on Saturday at noon to face top-seed FDR in the quarterfinals at New Utrecht High School.
— Jerry Del Priore