DeWitt Clinton is a team that isn’t afraid to get down and dirty, and with one of the only grass fields left in the Public School Athletic League, the Governors thrive on poor conditions — thanks to their smash-mouth style that is perfect in the mud.
“Mother Nature cried on us last night, so that didn’t hurt and also our tractor broke and our grass was a little thick,” Clinton coach Howard Langley said with a wink.
The Governors are used to playing on the sloppy surface, and it showed. Clinton ran over Erasmus Hall, 30-8, in City Championship division football Saturday morning in The Bronx. The Govs rumbled for 348 yards on the ground and E-Hall, built on speed and finesse, was slowed down considerably by the poor field conditions.
“Disgusting,” Erasmus coach Danny Landberg said of the field.
Bruising junior fullback Ashton McKenzie had 163 yards on just 13 carries with a pair of touchdowns. On the game’s first series, he broke free for a 43-yard score, setting the tone for Clinton (2-1) having its way with Erasmus Hall (1-2) the entire way. The Governors led 30–0 at halftime.
“Their line up front was too slow and we were more physical,” McKenzie said.
Added quarterback Ryan Camilo: “[McKenzie] is a powerful runner, but he’s very smart also. He makes my job easy.”
Jeremiah Obeng-Agyapong had 90 yards on five carries, including a 29-yard touchdown in the first quarter, and Camilo rushed for 85 yards on nine carries with a 35-yard touchdown in which he broke free from an Erasmus pile at the 10 and sauntered into the end zone.
“I can’t speak for them, I just know the stuff that we run is unusual in the league,” Langley said. “So anybody that’s going to play us, they have to prepare. It’s a multiple-attack style offense. If you’re not well-prepared, you’re going to have a little bit of a problem.”
Erasmus Hall certainly did, and the mud was just the start. The Clinton defense was also able to hold quarterback Wayne Morgan, one of the top 150 recruits in the country, in check.
“This is our home field,” McKenzie, also the middle linebacker, said with a smile. “So it’s like an advantage.”
The Dutchmen came into this year with a lot of hype, but a very tough four-game slate to start. They could have been 2-0 coming into Saturday if not for blowing a 20–7 lead against Campus Magnet in Week 1. Now Erasmus will host Tottenville, the city’s top-ranked team, next week with just a win next to its name.
To make matters worse, freshman wide receiver Curtis Samuel re-injured his hamstring and offensive tackle Brian Houston also got hurt. The lone bright spot was Shaquell Jackson, who rushed for 142 yards on 19 carries.
“The defense didn’t show up today,” Landberg said. “That’s for sure.”
Clinton, on the other hand, picked up a signature victory. The Governors didn’t get a lot of preseason attention and Langley has continuously downplayed the stature of this group. It’ll be hard for him to continue to do so from here.
“That’s an impressive thing, because teams are gonna look at us different now,” McKenzie said.