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Bayside kept winless with 30-12 loss to Lehman

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“We had a rough first quarter,” was the first thing head coach Joe Capuana thought to say when asked to describe his team’s 30-12 loss to the Lehman Lions Saturday afternoon.

And that was an understatement.

The Bayside Commodores, coming off back-to-back overtime losses to Susan Wagner and Port Richmond, again found themselves holding the short end of the stick against one of the city’s elite football teams, falling behind 22-0 before the first quarter was through.

The Commodores eventually made a game of it, but blew an opportunity to get within striking distance early in the third quarter, which essentially ended the game.

“Not too many teams play nine overtimes in two weeks and lose and then come back and play perhaps the best team in the city,” Capuana said of his team’s double overtime loss to Wagner, seven overtime loss to Port Richmond and loss this week to undefeated Lehman. “We went in there confident. In that first quarter, things just hit us. We could’ve easily fell apart, but we didn’t. We played good in spurts, but we didn’t play really well.”

Neither team did much with their first possessions, but after Bayside failed to convert a fourth-and-inches near midfield, Lehman took advantage. On second-and-nine from the Bayside 39. Lions’ quarterback Desmond Maxwell hit wide receiver Akeem Watson in stride the first touchdown of the day.

Bayside went three-and-out on its next possession and a short punt gave the Lions the ball back on the Commodores’ 45. Two plays later Matthew King rambled 44 yards for a touchdown and the ensuing two-point conversion made the score 14-0.

On the first play of Bayside’s next possession, quarterback Zanu Simpson was intercepted, setting up Lehman’s third score, making the game 22-0 just as the first quarter ended.

“In the first quarter we played very poorly,” Capuana said. “In the second quarter, we came back a bit.”

The two teams exchanged turnovers at midfield to start the second quarter before Bayside finally got its offense going. After Richie Richards stripped the ball away from a Lehman back, Simpson hit Drew Williams for 25 yards to bring the Commodores down to the 19. Another completion to Williams put Bayside at the nine. Following a four-yard loss on a sweep, Simpson hit C.J. Okogeri in the end zone for six. The extra point was no good, but Bayside was finally on the board.

With three minutes to go in the half, Bayside kicked off to the Lions, whose deep back muffed the ball. Bayside’s Blaku Bashkim recovered the fumble and returned it 37 yards for the touchdown to make the score 22-12. The two-point conversion failed.

The Commodores’ Andre Lewis took the opening kickoff of the third quarter down to the Lehman 10-yard line, setting up first-and goal for Bayside and a chance for the Commodores to truly get back in the game.

But a short run, two incomplete passes and a missed field goal killed a great opportunity for the Commodores.

“The game was on the line right here,” Capuana said. “We had them on their heels a little bit. We had to put that in the end zone.”

The Lions responded with an 80-yard drive and yet another touchdown and two-point conversion to make the score 30-12.

Neither team threatened to score again.

“By not putting it in, it kind of deflated us,” Capuana said. “That was the game right there. Once they put that touchdown in it was over.”

The loss drops Bayside to 0-4, while Lehman soars to 4-0. The Commodores are hoping to rebound this week against a much-improved Campus Magnet team (4-0), Saturday at 11 a.m. Capuana said he knows his team will have its hands full.

“They’re playing very good,” the coach said of Magnet. “It’s definitely a rivalry. Our players are definitely looking forward to playing them. Every time we play Campus Magnet its a tough game.

“This year they have a great trio of backs, their offensive line is better than they thought they’d be and they’re blowing everybody out,” Capuana added. “They got something going over there. It’s not going to be an easy contest. I hope our team responds. Our backs are against the wall.”

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 130.

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