Greenwood’s passing lifts Campus Magnet

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Antoine Allen didn’t have to hope or pray. He might not have seen the football, but he knew Kahlik Greenwood’s pass would find him somehow.

“The sun was in my eyes, there were two defenders and the ball just fell right into my hands,” Allen said. “I think that was a gift from God. I just kept running my route and he put it right on the money.”

The Campus Magnet receiver caught it on a post route and Greenwood found him again for the go-ahead two-point conversion. Once Bulldogs Coach Eric Barnett let Greenwood put the ball in the air, No. 8 Campus Magnet was able to secure a 14-12 win over ninth-seeded Curtis in the PSAL City Championship division first round Saturday in Queens.

“My quarterback doesn’t have the sweetest arm like [Curtis quarterback] Prince [Dukes] and he doesn’t run as fast at Tottenville’s quarterback [Brandon Barnes],” Barnett said. “But I [think] I have the best quarterback in the league. So that’s Coach Barnett’s fault for handcuffing him. He threw four picks last week and I didn’t want him to approach the game with any trepidation.”

Greenwood was more than fine on the game-winning drive, going 4-of-7 for 54 yards, including the 33-yard touchdown pass to Allen with 6:45 left in the game. The junior signal-caller also scrambled for a 7-yard first down on 3rd-and-1 to keep the drive alive. He ended up going 8-of-15 for 82 yards and two touchdowns, the first also to Allen on an 8-yard strike with 9:44 left in the second quarter.

“He puts it on the money, baby,” Allen said. “On the money.”

It was a rough go of it for Greenwood until that final drive. He didn’t throw another pass until the fourth quarter after the TD.

“It was frustrating,” he admitted. “We did the same plays at least six times in a row. Of those six plays, the ball hit the receiver’s hands six times and they only caught two.”

Campus Magnet will travel to No. 2 Tottenville for the quarterfinals next week, while Curtis sees its season end this early for only the second time in Curtis history, according to Coach Pete Gambardella. There were tears and anger afterward for the Warriors, some of whom laid down on the turf for awhile afterward.

“We’ve got a good group of seniors who didn’t want to end this week,” Gambardella said. “It’s Nov. 12. That’s it. It’s early.”

The Bulldogs will move on and the defense deserves some credit. They forced Curtis (6-4) into a three-and-out following the go-ahead score and Allen sealed the game with an interception with 1:00 left on the clock. The only Warriors scores came when Campus Magnet (7-3) gave them a short field.

Dukes found Elijah Caldwell for a 19-yard touchdown strike with 3:06 left in the third quarter after Curtis recovered a fumble on the Campus 21. The Bulldogs then went three-and-out and gave the Warriors the ball after a punt at the 43-yard line. Carl Taylor (12 carries, 86 yards) went 51 yards out of the Wildcat and Kevin Austin (17, 67) dove in from a yard out to give Curtis a 12-6 left with 11:53 left in the game.

Then Barnett finally took the handcuffs off Greenwood.

“I’m a little despondent in myself, because we should have came out the whole game attacking like that,” the coach said.

Greenwood kept his cool. He’s been playing quarterback since he was 6 years old and he’s had an all-city caliber season for Campus Magnet. Those four interceptions last week in a 44-19 loss to Tottenville were an aberration, Barnett said. And the Bulldogs will head back to Huguenot for the quarterfinals next week.

“The only thing that’s not gonna get to him is the moment,” Barnett said. “The moment is not gonna get to him. But he still has to learn how to play the position. He’s learning how to play the position. And every week I’m learning how to be a better coach.”

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