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Boys & Girls advanced to the PSAL semifinals by controlling the clock, executing on both sides of the ball, tackling well, and making the opposition pay for mistakes.
The 10th-seeded Kangaroos were unable to accomplish any of those key tenets Saturday afternoon in the city semifinals. As a result, their season ended. No. 1 Port Richmond scored on its first three possessions en route to a dominant 26-0 victory in Staten Island.
Boys had no answer for the Red Raiders’ prolific offensive attack. Keying on star senior Torian Phillips opened the door for quarterback Jeremy Ramos to rush for consecutive touchdowns of 11 and 15 yards. Later in the half, Ramos executed a textbook play-fake to Phillips and found an open Frank Zerbo with a jump pass. Phillips took the second half’s first play from scrimmage over the left side 69 yards to the house.
“We got caught looking at the ball,” Boys coach Barry O’Connor said.
The Kangaroos, however, probably expected PR, a team that had scored 417 points this season and went over 30 nine times, to break off its quota of big plays. It was their offense’s inability to do much of anything that came as a surprise. After senior Kristopher Moton fumbled on a 13-yard run on Boys’ first drive, the Brooklyn school managed just one other first down until the fourth quarter. They had just 35 yards of total offense in the first half, struggling, O’Connor said, to execute the gameplan and adjust to the Red Raiders’ speed on defense, and 50 yards altogether.
“I think it was more us than them,” he said. “We made mistakes we don’t usually make.”
The performance left the normally talkative O’Connor with a loss for words. In its third season since becoming a Level 5 team, Boys had come so far, registering two upset victories on the road, at No. 7 Campus Magnet and No. 5 Sheepshead Bay. The Kangaroos talked defiantly during the week of expecting to win Saturday, and making history.
Port Richmond didn’t necessarily play its best game – Ramos was intercepted once and Johnson fumbled – but Boys could do little with the gifts.
“We didn’t show up and play today,” O’Connor said. “Maybe it was they hadn’t been here before, but they didn’t play the way they were capable of playing.”
“It,” the coach latter added,” was a debacle. Nobody feels good right now. Nobody wants to come to Staten Island and lay an egg. My biggest disappointment is they didn’t show themselves to be the team they are. We’re a better team than that.”
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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