No. 5 New Utrecht travelled up to Fort Greene and came away with a 16-0 victory over No. 6 Brooklyn Tech on Saturday afternoon behind some impressive defense and an 82-yard dash by junior Dayquan Russell in the fourth quarter that clinched the win.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Neither team scored in the first half, though both had opportunities. Brooklyn Tech threatened early in the first quarter after quarterback Elijah Rueda found Alpha Gamby for a 27-yard catch that gave the Engineers a first down at the two. Lawrence Menyah scored on the next play, but the touchdown was called back due to an offensive-holding penalty. On the next play, New Utrecht sacked Rueda and brought him all the way back to the 18-yard line.
New Utrecht had a golden opportunity in the second quarter when Bryan Burroughs fumbled the ball at the one-yard line. The refs declared that the ball went out in the end zone so they called a touchback and then incorrectly gave New Utrecht the ball at the 20-yard line (per the rules, if a ball is fumbled out of bounds in the end zone the ball should go to the other team. In this case it should have been Tech ball at the 20). The Utes failed to take advantage of the error and were ultimately stopped at the four-yard line.
It wasn’t until Angelo Carrera found Walid Othman open for a 12-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter to make it 8-0 that either team made it onto the board.
TURNING POINT: Tech threatened to tie the game early in the fourth quarter. At one point, the Engineers had a first-and-goal at the four, but they were eventually stopped and turned the ball over on downs at the one-yard line. It was the second goal-line stop of the game and the third for New Utrecht in two weeks as it had a huge one the previous week against South Shore.
On the next drive, the Utes quickly drove the ball downfield thanks to an 82-yard touchdown run by Russell, who had gotten the tackle on the fourth-and-goal situation just seconds prior.
STRONG DEFENSE: At that point a comeback was unlikely, but still possible. Khadeen Dryden helped to make sure it was wrapped up neatly though as he sacked the Tech quarterback twice during the final drive. Dryden is a huge, athletic lineman that plays both sides of the ball. After the game he said he has offers from Syracuse, Maine Temple Georgia, Buffalo, Rhode Island and UMass, but will wait until he takes his SATs in Oct. before making a decision.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Russell not only had the big tackle, he had the big touchdown run and finished with 150 yards rushing overall so he is an easy choice for Player of the Game. After the game New Utrecht coach Alan Balkin had lost his voice, but that couldn’t keep him from saying great things about Russell. “He’s a great player and he’s just a junior. So he’s going to be the real deal. He’s very good,” Balkin said.
WHAT THIS MEANS: That was a big win for New Utrecht as it shows that they are a team to be reconed with in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, it’s a tough loss for the Tech Engineers. They had been steadily climbing the rankings in recent weeks and had a chance to move into the elite. Now they must regroup against Boys High and be ready for a tough Canarsie team two weeks from now.
UP NEXT: New Utrecht will face a Fort Hamilton team that is way more talented than its 0-3 record indicates while Brooklyn Tech will face Boys and Girls.