In Brooklyn Tech’s previous four games, three of them wins, the Engineers scored 136 points while allowing only 74. They ran for over 200 yards four times and held the opposition’s ground attack to under 100 yards twice.
Suddenly, a rebuilding season was looking like a playoff season and a high seed at that, entering Saturday afternoon’s showdown with Queens powerhouse Campus Magnet.
“I thought we were set up to play very well,” second-year coach Kyle McKenna said.
Something was lost on the long bus trip from Brooklyn to Queens because the Brooklyn school’s strengths — running the ball and stopping the run — were nowhere to be found in a 28-6 loss to Campus Magnet.
The Bulldogs (6-2) churned out 190 yards on the ground, including little-used fullback Marlon Sabb going 38 yards to pay dirt untouched in the first quarter, one of three rushing scores, and held No. 8 Brooklyn Tech to just 69 yards rushing.
“We didn’t execute,” the coach said. “We were a step off from the beginning and it kind of permeated through the whole game.”
Campus Magnet, McKenna said, deserved credit for Tech’s ineffectiveness. The Bulldogs are big, fast and deep — unlike the Engineers (5-3), their linemen don’t go both ways — and have now held four opponents to single digits.
“We knew they were gonna come out and a be a physical team and they did,” he said. “There were some things they caught us on, some big plays. They’re a big play team. They kind of make their living on big plays, behind physical, pounding it out. They were very physical.”
Indeed, Brooklyn Tech got off to an extremely sluggish start, trailing 14-0 before the first quarter had ended. It didn’t even record its initial first down until the four-minute warning of the first half. The Engineers did turn that drive into points, quarterback Kevi Shyti first hitting James Gales for 33 yards on 3rd-and-12 and then finding Babatunde Adeyemi on a nine-yard scoring strike 41 seconds before the end of the half.
That momentum didn’t last very long. After going three-and-out to start the second half, Campus Magnet’s Wavell Wint scored from 4 yards out, capping a drive he personally dominated, accounting for all 29 yards. On Tech’s next drive, a holding penalty wiped away Gino Nadela’s 68-yard touchdown run and three plays later an extremely high snap resulted in a safety.
“It was just certain things we didn’t execute the way they were drawn up that will lead to a game like this,” McKenna said. “I wish today had gone differently, but it is what it is.”
The loss, however disappointing, doesn’t squash Brooklyn Tech’s playoff hopes. The Engineers can get into the postseason even with a loss to Erasmus Hall next Sunday. After that matchup, Brooklyn Tech will have faced three playoff upper-echelon teams — Campus Magnet, Erasmus Hall and Thomas Jefferson – in five weeks, which he feels is a positive.
“When you have a back-loaded schedule like we have, you get to see what you’re made of going into the playoffs,” he said.