Mistakes drop Flushing to 0-3 after loss to Erasmus

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Shrink the Flushing football team’s season into one quarter and you have the first quarter of Saturday’s 28-6 loss to the Erasmus Hall Dutchmen at Flushing Memorial Field. Plagued by penalties, turnovers and big plays against them, the Red Devils fell behind Erasmus 14-0 in the first frame and never recovered.

Erasmus, coming off a victory against John Adams, was seeking a modest two-game winning streak. A significant accomplishment considering that the program was shut down last season due to lack of adequate funding. Prior to going on hiatus, the team hadn’t won a game since October 1998.

Flushing, which lost to first-year program Grand Street Campus last week, is realistically working its way towards respectability. And if the team is looking for bright spots, it may want to focus on the second half and forget the first.

The Dutchmen dominated the opening quarter behind the three-headed monster of senior quarterback Joe Martinez and the backfield of Francis Toney and Noel Francis. Toney opened the scoring with a three-yard touchdown run and added the two-point conversion for a quick 8-0 lead.

Flushing (0-3) nearly dodged the early touchdown. Francis took a hand-off at the Red Devils eight-yard line, but was stripped of the ball on his way to a potential score. Flushing pounced on the fumble in the end zone for a touchback.

Francis made up for his folly, stripping his counterpart Pedro Garcia on Flushing’s first play from scrimmage. Toney nearly returned the fumble for a touchdown, but settled for the conventional score one play later.

“Early in the game we had too many breakdowns,” Flushing head coach Joe Kaso said. “Fumbles, penalties, mental mistakes have been killing us.”

Later in the first, Martinez staggered Flushing with a 50-yard touchdown sprint to increase the margin to 14-0. Toney completed the second with a 10-yard touchdown run and Martinez added the two-point conversion on a sweep for a 22-0 halftime lead. The nifty running of Martinez and Francis put Erasmus in position for each score.

“Those three [Francis, Toney and Martinez] are our triple threat,” Erasmus head coach Danny Landberg said. “I distribute the ball among them equally and let them go to work.”

The Red Devils had a chance to get back in the game early on, but opportunity literally slipped through the fingers of Paul Singh. Trailing 8-0, Lutrell Brisbane rolled out of the pocket hit his wide receiver with a deep pass, but the potential touchdown was dropped. Later, Flushing managed to get inside its opponent’s red zone, but the Red Devils turned the ball over on downs at the 12.

Flushing played better ball in the second half, keeping Erasmus (2-1) off the scoreboard and scoring a touchdown. Lutrell Brisbane hit Allan Ward for a 37-yard score in the final quarter to avoid the shutout.

“The effort was better in the second half,” said Kaso. “The guys stepped up and played harder, but they still have lots to learn.”

Noteworthy performances for Flushing included running back Pedro Garcia (16 carries, 147 yards) and fullback Kenny Nelson (seven carries, 41 yards).

Francis was the all-around star of the game for Erasmus. The elusive junior rushed for 119 yards on seven carries with a touchdown. He also contributed nine tackles and three sacks on defense. Toney compiled 59 yards on 10 carries and scored twice. Martinez added 66 yards on five carries, including his 50-yard touchdown run.

Flushing will try to break into the win column Saturday at 11 a.m. when it visits George Washington, 12-6 winners over John Adams.

Port Richmond 30, Bayside 24. For a second straight week the team played a PSAL powerhouse to the wire and for a second straight week Bayside was on the losing side of the ledger, as the Commodores lost a heartbreaking 30-24 seven overtime decision at Port Richmond Saturday.

Greg Kaufmann scored all three touchdowns for Port Richmond (2-1), including a three-yard run to finally finish the game.

David Coleman, who rushed for 120 yards on 27 carries, tied the game at 12 for Bayside (0-3) with a 6-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter. Andre Lewis scored on a nine-yard touchdown run and Drew Williams added a six-yard score in overtime for the Commodores, who head to Lehman (3-0) Saturday at noon.

August Martin 20, Lincoln 12. The Falcons avoided starting opening the season with three straight losses as they defeated the Railsplitters Saturday at Ralph Jones Memorial Field. Kareem Foust and Jean Cardenas scored touchdowns for Lincoln (0-3). Martin (1-2) hosts Sheepshead Bay (3-0) Saturday at 1 p.m.

Long Island City 42, Stuyvesant 14. Richard Akowuah rushed for a career-high four touchdowns on 145 yards to lead host Long Island City (1-2). It was the first game Stuyvesant (1-1) played since the World Trade Center attacks and Pegleg players have been attending classes at Brooklyn Tech since classes resumed Sept. 20. The Bulldogs host defending city champions John F. Kennedy (0-3) Saturday at 11 a.m.

Bryant 6, Truman 0. Charles Kim ran in the game-winning touchdown from eight yards out and Danny Hagenlocher secured the win for Bryant (1-2) with a late interception. The Owls play at Grand Street Campus (1-2) Saturday at noon.

New Dorp 24, Springfield Gardens 6. Chanze Williams, who rushed for 75 yards on six carries, scored on runs of 10 and 54 yards to lead host New Dorp (1-2) Friday night. Quarterback Jason Brinzo (six carries for 73 yards, five tackles and one fumble recovery) also scored on a 1-yard sneak. Brandon Rush connected with Hasunn Rogers on a 14-yard touchdown pass for Springfield Gardens (0-3), who play Campus Magnet Saturday at 11 a.m.

— Dylan Butler contributed to this story

Reach contributing writer Adam Martini by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 130.

Posted 7:24 pm, October 10, 2011
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