Flying high! Dutchmen one win away from title crown

Movin’ on up: Erasmus Hall’s Jonathan Samerson and Rahlique Wilks celebrate a quarter-final win over the Sheepshead Bay Sharks at Erasmus Hall Field on Avenue M and McDonald Avenue. The Dutchmen defeated the Sharks 38–30 in double overtime.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

The Dutchmen are going to the championships!

Erasmus Hall pasted the visiting Curtis Warriors 28–6 yesterday, paving the way for a Public School Athletic League football title showdown against Tottenville High School on Dec. 4 at Yankee Stadium.

This will be the second time the unbeaten Dutchmen made it to the big game in the last two years. Erasmus Hall fell to Lincoln High School last year, but players say they will be leaving Yankee Stadium victorious this time around.

“We got back to where we wanted to be,” Dutchmen star running back Curtis Samuel said. “But the job is not over yet. We got to finish the championship and take the win home.”

Erasmus Hall senior Jonathan Samerson rushed for three touchdowns and two two-point conversions and carried the ball nine times for 135 yards — including 74-yard touchdown run — on Saturday, giving Erasmus a 12–0 lead late in the second quarter.

But Samerson’s stellar run wasn’t a solo act: Erasmus Hall’s defense turned in a dominant performance with Stefon Rodriguez getting an interception and Brian Houston blocking a punt to set up a 1-yard Samerson touchdown with 7:59 left in the first quarter to make it 6–0.

The defensive line also stunted Kevin Austin’s performance, keeping Curtis’s star running back — considered on of the best in the city — to just 47 yards on 17 carries and allowed Curtis just a cosmetic touchdown late in the fourth quarter on 5-yard connection.

Samerson doubled the Dutchmen’s lead after the half with an 18-yard scoring run in the third quarter before turning the corner for a 10-yard touchdown with 4:10 left in the game.

The senior clearly ran out from under star teammates Samuel and Kahlil Lewin’s shadows with Saturday’s performance, Erasmus Hall’s coaching staff said.

“You [reporters] don’t give him enough attention. We’ve always known John is the man,” Erasmus coach Danny Landberg said. “He is one of the best players I’ve ever coached in my life.”

Last year’s loss to Lincoln has been the Dutchmen’s motivation to make it back to Yankee Stadium. Erasmus Hall finds it fitting that it’s playing Tottenville, whose only loss was a forfeit. The two squads were supposed to meet in the last week of the season, but the game was cancelled after Hurricane Sandy hit.

Three weeks later, the two teams will meet again, settling the ongoing debate about which squad should be crowned champion.

“Now we are going to see who is the best in the city,” Samerson said.

Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at jstaszewski@cnglocal.com. Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.

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