Fumbles stop Kangaroos from leaping over Dutchmen

Ground-ripping rushing attacks by Kahleel Lewin and Curtis Samuel led the Erasmus Hall Dutchmen to a handsome 24–14 victory over Boys and Girls High School at Sid Luckman Field in Midwood on Sunday — giving the previously unbeaten Kangaroos its first loss of the season.

Two fumbles shot down all hopes of the Kangaroos making a comeback against the Dutchmen as Lewin rushed for 156 yards and Samuel scored three touchdowns — carrying two across the field and plucking a touchdown pass out of the air.

“The turnovers just killed us,” Boys and Girls coach Clive Harding said. “That’s not how you win games.”

The Kangaroos didn’t make it easy for the Dutchmen: the Bedford Stuyvesant squad (4–1) struck gold on its opening drive when Malik Reid hammered in a two-yard touchdown, plus a two-point conversion run for an 8–0 lead. East Flatbush’s Erasmus (5–0) reached the end zone with 7:31 left in the second quarter when Samuel scored from two yards out to cut the deficit to 8–6 after a failed two-point conversion run.

But a Boys and Girls fumble set up Erasmus’s second score. Kangaroo running back Najee Champagne lost the handle at the Dutchmen’s 19-yard-line. Erasmus quickly recovered the ball and Samuel found the end zone again on a 26-yard scamper with 1:07 left in the half to give Erasmus as 12–8 lead. Erasmus quickly scored again as an 80-yard drive ended with Jonathan Samerson connecting with Samuel for an 11-yard fade in the corner of the end zone.

“It was a battle out there,” said Samuel. “We just came out here and played hard.”

But Boys and Girls weren’t about to give up. The Kangaroos brought the ball down to the Erasmus 3-yard line, but on the fourth down quarterback Keon Marsh fumbled on the sneak attempt. Erasmus’ Darin Peart scooped up the ball and returned to midfield.

Erasmus didn’t score off the fumble, but Dutchman Jose Mathews added some insurance with an 11-yard touchdown run three minutes before the game ended.

Boys and Girls managed to score with 42 seconds remaining, but it was too late to preserve the team’s unblemished record.

The mid-season victory makes Erasmus the favored challenger for the city public-school title.

“We are rolling, but we are only as good as our last game,” Dutchmen coach Danny Landberg said. “This is a nice win, but it’s no good if we don’t win next week.”