Wolves howling with upset victory over South Shore

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He’s the leader of the pack.

Grand Street Campus quarterback Chris Mattocks jump-started the No. 7 Wolves as the squad cruised to a 27–6 victory over No. 4 South Shore in the Public Schools Athletic League championship cup quarterfinals on Nov. 19. The senior racked up three touchdowns and threw for 225 yards — but he was quick to share credit as the squad booked its second-straight semifinal berth.

“I have to give all the credit to the offensive line,” Mattocks said. “They gave me a lot of time to do what I had to do. Coach [Brian Ellis] helped a lot too. He gets us ready to play every time we go out there.”

The Wolves’ defense set up Mattocks early — recovering a pair of South Shore fumbles in the first quarter to give Grand Street a short offensive field. The senior scored on a sneak just outside the end zone to get Grand Street (7–4) on the board and then followed up with a 42-yard bomb to Marcus Chambers.

South Shore (7–3) had plenty of time to respond, but the Vikings offense struggled to move the ball throughout the game as Grand Street did its best to bring defensive pressure on every snap. The Wolves also used a bit of preseason familiarity to their advantage, effectively shaking up South Shore’s game plan.

“We trained at Big Apple [Training Facility] with those guys all summer,” Ellis said. “We wanted to show them that once the pads come on, they’re our little brothers.”

Mattocks got a bit of help from his ground game as well, as Darius Thompson and Omar Robinson were a two-headed monster out of the backfield, keeping South Shore’s defense guessing.

In the end, the passing game proved the difference-maker for the Wolves, and Mattocks’ rhythm with senior wide receiver Kyle Brisfere was nothing short of dominant. Brisfere hauled in 119 receiving yards as well as a touchdown, and he had no problem breezing through the South Shore secondary with ease.

The Vikings did manage to get on the board late — when senior quarterback Jason Martin found Sidney Jackson from 10 yards out — but it was too little too late for a South Shore squad that built its season on dramatic comebacks.

This was a statement victory for the Wolves, and after a season jam-packed with ups and downs on and off the field, Grand Street Campus is ready for its biggest challenge of the season. The squad will take on top-seeded, undefeated Curtis on Staten Island on Nov. 26, looking to not only stage the upset, but also notch a return trip to Yankee Stadium to defend its city title.

It won’t be easy, but after the lopsided victory in the quarters, the Wolves are confident this squad can surprise a few more people.

“We knew coming into the game that South Shore is a team that can be dangerous if you let them hang around,” Ellis said. “We wanted to impose our will on them right from the start of the game. On to the next one.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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