Shamar Logan did not look like a player that felt nervous going into a hyped up Week 1 season opening matchup against the defending PSAL city conference champions. Like many on his Erasmus Hall team, the goal was to ignore the pressure yet use motivation to come in prepared on Friday afternoon.
The Dutchmen showed off its playmakers with Logan one of the main examples as the senior recorded a rushing and a receiving touchdown as Erasmus Hall raced out in the second half to earn a strong 39-20 victory in a title game rematch held at Sid Luckman Field in Brooklyn.
“I felt good. I came in prepared. I go 110 percent every day at practice. My teammates help me up,” Logan said. “I got to shout out my ‘O-line’ and they helped me out a lot and opened up the holes. I just did what I have to do.”
A talented Erasmus Hall group got plenty of contributors to come up with five rushing touchdowns and first year starting quarterback Keion Jones completing two touchdown passes to Kessawn Abraham and Sean Ryan. The Dutchmen defense contained the Warriors offense midway in the second half to seal the win while avenging somewhat the bitter 24-21 defeat last December at Yankee Stadium.
“It’s a great win and it’s always a great win against a great team but everybody knows the real goal and the real mission,” Ryan said. “We lost three times back to back and we don’t let that put us down. We going to keep fighting and keep pushing to Week 13.”
A 40-yard pass from Jones to wide receiver Aron Cruickshank set up a Logan 22-yard run up the middle for a touchdown to give Erasmus a 13-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Warriors’ lineman Dakar Edwards sacked Jones in the end zone for a safety and just two offensive plays later saw Ty Son Lawton dance into the end zone for a 2-yard score to give Curtis a 14-13 lead.
But the Dutchmen would retake the momentum along with the lead at 19-14 when the Rutgers bound Abraham raced off a 45-yard touchdown off a screen pass with 1:34 left in the first half.
Logan ignited the fireworks in the second half in breaking a tackle behind the line of scrimmage and dashing off a 61-yard score to give the Dutchmen a 13-point lead. Curtis needed only six plays to find the end zone on a impressive 16-yard fade pass from quarterback Quincy Barnes to Amad Anderson to cut the deficit to 27-20 late in the third quarter.
But it was the last time the Curtis offense found pay dirt. The Dutchmen defense wore down Barnes with a successful pass rush and coupled with strong play in the secondary from Calique Cato-Jacobs, Christian Izien and Shamel Lazarus shut down the opposition for the rest of the game.
Logan found another hole up the Warriors defense to score a 44-yard touchdown run and Ryan finished the scoring with a nice 16-yard leaping catch over a defender to make it 39-20 on the last play of the third quarter.
Warriors coach Peter Gambardella believes his team needs to clean up mistakes such as committing four encroachment penalties and have their younger players learn from the loss going forward
“They made great big plays and they got playmakers. They made big plays,” Gambardella said. “We made some but sometimes when we got down there, we didn’t capitalize so that was a little tough for us. We’ve got to learn to finish.”
Erasmus Hall coach Danny Landberg was quite pleased his team played with poise and determination in a game he knew meant a lot to his players.
“We were solid. We stuck to the game plan. We pretty much kept it simple. We didn’t come in with too much. I’ll take it,” Landberg said. “A lot of first game mistakes but that’s what its all about. We’ll look at the film, get better and move on to the next.”