The loss that ended Erasmus Hall’s regular season is a microcosm for the team’s struggles this year.
The Dutchmen lost 21–0 at home to unbeaten Tottenville in Public School Athletic League City conference football on Nov. 7. The team’s offense looked absolutely lifeless — even with quarterback Aaron Grant off the injury list and taking all the snaps. The squad gave up touchdowns on offense, defense, and special teams — all resulting from Dutchmen errors. Tottenville kept Erasmus (7–3) on its side of the field for most of the game — forcing Erasmus to punt five times and returning one for a score. The team’s coach couldn’t put his finger on precisely went wrong on Saturday, but said the team faces larger chemistry issues.
“I have to go to the film and check it out to see what we’re doing wrong,” Erasmus coach Danny Landberg said. “We’ve had a lot of injuries throughout the season. We’re trying to get chemistry going, that hasn’t happened right now.”
Erasmus’ first offensive play set the tone for the entire game — Grant threw an interception that Nijer Peters returned for 24 yards and a touchdown.
The Dutchmen put up a huge red-zone stop early in the second quarter, holding Tottenville to the three-yard line on a fourth-down attempt and keeping the score 7–0. But the Dutchmen couldn’t convert that stop into offensive momentum — before the half was out, the team gave up another touchdown when Tottenville’s Jesse Bramble returned a 60-yard punt.
The team lacks communication and consistency, Landberg said.
“We’ve been off this season,” he said. “We haven’t had everything in sync. We’ve just got to do a better job.”
Tottenville iced the game with a 33-yard run by Joshua Alvarez and a three-yard touchdown run by Bramble. The Pirates finished the regular season 10–0 and will be the first overall seed in the playoffs. Erasmus, which has lost two straight, will be the sixth seed and host No. 11 DeWitt Clinton at noon on Nov. 14 in the first round of the playoffs. The Dutchmen defeated DeWitt Clinton in their previous meeting this season on Oct. 10.
Even with the recent funk, the Dutchmen still have an opportunity to turn it around, but the coach isn’t crowing prematurely.
“We’ll find out this week,” Landberg said. “We’ll see what we’ve got.”