Grand Street Campus was looking for a fresh new start after a disappointing loss to John Adams last week in its PSAL opener.
Anthony Deese was also looking to begin anew with his Wolves teammates. The senior quarterback arrived last week after gaining a safety transfer from Erasmus Hall, where he briefly played last season.
Deese was cleared to play and he helped the Wolves get their first win of the season in a highly charged, and penalty filled contest. The Wolves quarterback connected with Markese Elliott for a pair of touchdowns in a 24-20 win over host Beach Channel in Rockaway Park Saturday.
“They made it very easy for me to fit in,” Deese said. “I’m like family now.”
Deese showed off a strong arm in delivering two deep touchdown passes of 35 and 39-yards to Elliott in the first half. Middle linebacker Luther James wrested the ball from Dolphins running back Chris Reed and ran back a four-yard touchdown score to give Grand Street an 18-0 advantage.
Grand Street (1-1) actually jumped out to a 24-0 advantage on a 30-yard punt return touchdown by Elliott with six minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Wolves were also boosted by the numerous penalties committed by Beach Channel on both ends.
“We want to be aggressive offensively and defensively,” said first-year Grand Street coach Bruce Eugene. “We wanted to put points on the board and we did it.”
But the Wolves had to hold on for dear life at the end of the game.
Dolphins quarterback Breland Archbold completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Justin Zemser to put Beach Channel (0-2) on the scoreboard. Archbold added a pair of short touchdown runs to cut its deficit to 24-20.
Beach Channel had one last chance to win, but Marcus Boatwright ended the late rally, intercepting a pass thrown by Archbold on the Wolves 30-yard line with 31 seconds remaining.
Eugene, a former offensive coordinator at Brooklyn Tech and Franklin K. Lane, desired a return to coach in the PSAL. His alma mater, Alcorn State, hired Eugene to be their quarterbacks coach last year
The plan for Eugene is to grow Grand Street Campus into a winning program. Elliott, a four-year varsity player, says the team is on their way.
“Being here four years and not winning all the time is a big hurt,” Elliott said. “I think things are working. I think we’re going to get to Yankee Stadium.”