Must-win games on horizon for Queens teams

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The PSAL football playoffs officially begin Nov. 9, but for John Adams and Campus Magnet they start a week earlier.

Both teams are on the bubble to make the playoffs and both need to win their regular season finales Sunday to advance to the postseason.

John Adams (6-1) is No. 15 in the league’s power point rankings, one spot above Sunday’s opponent, Far Rockaway (5-2), which would be the last team to qualify for the playoffs if the season ended today.

Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. at John Adams High School.

“It’s the biggest game in about five years, but we’re not going to do anything different than any other game,” said Adams coach Jerry Weitzen. “The kids know this is it. We’re starting the playoffs against Far Rockaway. Hopefully they’ll respond.”

The Spartans come into the game having won four straight, including a 28-12 win over Stuyvesant Saturday. Tristan Leefoon had 13 carries for 111 yards and had a 13-yard touchdown reception from Kyle Piccirello. Richard Lopez had 15 carries for 100 yards and also caught a 45-yard touchdown pass, while Derrick Marshall added an 80-yard interception for a touchdown.

Far Rockaway handed Long Island City its fourth straight loss Saturday, 34-8, as quarterback Chris Howard threw a pair of touchdowns, a 9-yard pass to James Romain and a 15-yard completion to Marlon Rodriguez. Jamol Hill had a 7-yard touchdown run and Michael Toney added a 12-yard touchdown rush for the SeaHorses.

Campus Magnet (4-3) is ranked 18th in the city, currently out of playoff contention. But a win over equally desperate Beach Channel — ranked 20th — Sunday at 11 a.m. could mean the postseason for the banged up Bulldogs.

Last year Magnet also needed to beat the Dolphins on the last day of the regular season and came away with an impressive 25-0 win.

“We’re losing the war of attrition,” said Campus Magnet coach Jimmy Ryan. “They’re a very good team, well coached. They’re very problematic for us. We have no backups so whoever is going to play will have to do their best.”

Campus Magnet had an excellent chance to stamp its playoff ticket Saturday, but quickly fell behind Bayside, 12-0, before falling 12-6 to the Commodores.

Springfield Gardens 28, Bryant 6. Springfield rallied from a 6-0 halftime deficit to score 28 unanswered points in the Golden Eagles season finale.

Brandon Rush, one of 16 seniors honored at halftime, scored on touchdown runs of 3 and 17 yards in Springfield Gardens’ first two possessions in the third quarter. Rush rushed for 103 yards on 18 carries.

Junior Courtney Williams (17 carries, 160 yards) added a touchdown rush of 4 and 31 yards.

Defensively, senior Wali Reynolds picked off a fourth quarter pass for the third consecutive game for Springfield Gardens (5-3). Bryant falls to 2-5.

New Utrecht 38, August Martin 3. Ekeh Ibekweh rushed 14 times for 85 yards and two touchdowns, Noel Francis had a 76-yard scoring run and Ronald Sears added a 6-yard touchdown and recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for another score to lead New Utrecht (4-4, 4-3 PSAL). Jeff Brooks’ field goal was all the offense August Martin (0-8, 0-7) could muster.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

Updated 7:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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