This win was vintage Erasmus Hall.
The sixth-seeded Dutchmen put the struggles that plagued the end of their regular season behind them and recaptured a bit of their former glory when they routed No. 12 Dewitt Clinton 43–26 in the first round of the Public School Athletic League City conference playoffs at Sid Luckman Field in Midwood on Nov. 13. The team has turned over a new leaf after a weak ending to its regular season, its quarterback said.
“Everybody’s back on board,” Erasmus quarterback Aaron Grant said. “We’re finally at full effect, offense and defense.”
A series of injuries caused the Erasmus’s offense to sputter towards the end of the regular season, and the team lost two of its last three games.
It scored just 12 points combined in its previous two home games against a pair of unbeaten squads — only beating Clinton 25–14 on Oct. 10. The poor performance forced head coach Danny Landberg to be more hands-on with the offense, he said.
“I just had to put it on myself and call the game from now on,” Landberg said. “I haven’t been calling it this season. We were a little bit out of our sync and rhythm.”
Clinton scored first after returning the opening kickoff to the 3-yard line. Edward Nunez capitalized on the good placement and ran in the touchdown. In the midst of this offensive funk, it was definitely not how Erasmus wanted to start the game, but it didn’t matter.
The Dutchmen (8–3) offense clicked right away with a 10-play, 68-yard drive that Jahquel Webb capped with a 13-yard touchdown run, putting his team up 8–6.
Two possessions later, the game had taken a decided turn for Erasums — a pair of sacks and a blocked punt by Daevon Alvarez left Erasmus at the Clinton 25-yard line early in the second quarter. Running back Dejouree Addison took over the game after that.
Addison powered his way into the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown — his first of three scores — and a two-point conversion to increase Erasmus’s lead to 16–6. Another 5-yard touchdown and a two-point conversion brought the score to 24–6 midway through the second quarter.
Addison was motivated to prove that Erasmus’s offensive struggles were in the rearview mirror, he said.
“It’s playoff time,” Addison said. “We’re ready to get out of there and everybody keeps taking us as a joke, that was time to show the city we can play ball.”
Clinton (5–6) got back into the game before the end of the first half on a touchdown run by quarterback Dashown Wilson Jr. to make it 24–12.
But Erasmus’s Nelson Tyler reclaimed the lead cushion with a 14-yard run in the opening drive of the second half.
The Nunez tallied another for the Governors, but the Dutchmen responded by driving 95 yards and nailing a 38-yard touchdown pass from Grant to Sean Ryan to put Erasmus up 37–18.
Refs called the game with 2:33 left after they ejected Clinton head coach Howard Langley for arguing and the move caused jawing between the two teams.
Erasmus faces No. 3-seed and undefeated South Shore in the quarterfinals at noon on Oct. 21.