Even Curtis Samuel and Kahlil Lewin’s teammates at Erasmus Hall are tired of hearing about them.
It’s not that they don’t think their star running backs deserve all the attention they get, but the rest of them want to prove Erasmus has more than just two talented players on the squad.
“We take that personally when people say all we have is Kahlil and Curt,” said senior Elijah Davis. “We are going to step up the whole season and let the city know we have more than Curt and Kahlil.”
They certainly gave everyone a reason to believe that in the defending Public School Athletic League city champion’s 21–7 win over Tottenville in their season opener at home on Saturday — a rematch of last year’s title game.
“It’s not going to be a one-man show,” Erasmus coach Danny Landberg said. “It never will be.”
Sure, Lewin had a big day with 104 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. But that didn’t come without help — especially with Samuel’s production being limited. The Dutchmen lost starting quarterback Daiquan Gwyn in the first half to a high ankle sprain, only to see Davis move under center from receiver, but the offense didn’t miss a beat. Davis led Erasmus’s first touchdown drive, had a two-point conversion run, and ran in for an 8-yard score of his own in the fourth quarter.
Landberg was pleased with Davis’s next-man-up mentality, but said they will reassess the quarterback situation at practice with Gwyn’s status unknown. Davis, who helped illustrate his team’s depth, is ready and willing to take over.
“Then I’m going to have to be the guy full time,” he said. “Another receiver is going to have to step up and make some plays.”
Speaking of plays, let us not forget lineman Kwanii Figueroa picking up Davis’s fumble and turning a potential negative to a positive. His 32-yard run set up a Davis touchdown scamper from the 8-yard line to put the game away in the fourth quarter. He and his teammates joked that Figueroa works on that in practice.
“He’ll randomly pick it up and start running and doing some juke moves,” Davis said.
It’s part of the ready-and-prepared attitude the Erasmus players carry around with them. Tysene Foster added two sacks and Darin Peart led a stingy defense. As great as Lewin and Samuel are, city championships are not won with only two players.
“We are pretty sick of that all we have is Kahlil and Curt talk,” Davis said.