‘Team effort’ leads Erasmus past Sheepshead

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Last week was a miserable one for Erasmus Hall. The Dutchmen had no legitimate place to practice with their own field under construction and the Parade Grounds, where they were in the preseason, unavailable. They ended up practicing twice in the school’s small courtyard and the end result was a loss to Grand Street Campus.

That was just fine with coach Danny Landberg.

“We needed that,” he said of the loss. “Our coaches did, our players did. Everybody did. We need to realize we’re not last year’s team.”

Erasmus Hall, which went to the semis in 2009, rebounded by beating Sheepshead Bay, 16-0, in PSAL City Championship division football Friday night at Aviator Complex. It wasn’t a pretty game, the Dutchmen had too many penalties and neither team scored after halftime, but Landberg said it was their best “team effort” in a long time.

“We played as one,” said junior safety Cyrus Greene, who had two interceptions. “We lost against Grand Street and people were breaking down, in tears, yelling at each other. We made up this week and did our job.”

E-Hall (2-1) ran all over Sheepshead (1-2) in the first half. Senior Bryant Hardy had touchdown runs of 8 and 39 yards and finished the game with 83 yards on nine carries. Junior Shaquell Jackson, the team’s top running back, had 77 yards on six carries in the first half and was on the verge of a monster game, but he injured his high ankle and did not return after halftime. Hardy, sophomore Kahari Jones and Wayne Morgan, the team’s star quarterbac­k/defensive back, carried the load.

“It was a committee,” Landberg said. “It was everybody. That’s what it’s supposed to be.”

Meanwhile, the defense was the best it has been all season, particularly better than it was last week against Grand Street. Greene’s interception of Sheepshead quarterback Adler Thony in the end zone with 5:28 left in the first half was massive – the Sharks could have gone into halftime down just one score. Luder Jean Louis also had an interception of a screen pass.

“He makes plays,” Morgan said of Greene. “He’s a playmaker, that’s what he does. I trust him on the field.”

Jackson’s injury is not a serious one, but Landberg said he might be out for next Friday’s meeting with John F. Kennedy. Erasmus Hall as a team, though, looks like its back in business after a rough Week 2.

“We got too cocky and lost the game,” Hardy said. “We realized we can’t sleep on anybody.”

Morgan, who played some cornerback as well as safety, thinks his team is ready to turn that negative into a positive.

“I’d rather lose early than late,” he said. “After that loss, we’re not gonna lose no more.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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