Erasmus Hall has built a reputation as one of the best football teams in New York City on the abilities of two special running backs.
But facing a hungry Thomas Jefferson team with a stout defense anchored by Ebenezer Ogundeko, the city’s most touted recruit, the Dutchmen had to look for other heroes in the anticipated Brooklyn showdown Saturday afternoon.
Sure Curtis Samuel and Kahlil Lewin both rushed for touchdowns, but it was the play of an underrated duo, quarterback Matthew Domina and receiver Loumell Petion, that helped lead Erasmus Hall to a 34-14 victory at Moe Finkelstein Field.
Domina threw three touchdown passes, two to Petion, as the Dutchmen opened up a 34-0 lead before the Orange Wave added a pair of late scores.
“We just tried to hit them with a lot of vertical routes, a lot of deep throws,” said Domina, who was 6-of-11 for 117 yards. “Everyone eyes on Curtis and underestimates how good Loumell is, but Loumell just gets really open because no one can cover him out of the slot.”
And with Jefferson (6-2), ranked No. 6 in New York City by MSG Varsity, focusing on trying to stop the run, Petion had ample opportunity to burn the Orange Wave secondary.
“They know us for a running team, Curtis running the ball,” Petion said. “They brought all linebackers into the box and had us open on the outside.”
Domina connected with Petion on a 41-yard touchdown pass on Erasmus Hall’s first drive and then hit him for a 12-yard score to give the Dutchmen a 14-0 lead with 9:32 left in the second quarter.
The transfer from Nazareth also threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Christian Vincent Lovell with 9:53 left in the third quarter.
Lewin had an 11-yard TD and Samuel broke out for a 58-yard score to extend Erasmus Hall’s lead to 34-0 with 3:05 left in the third quarter.
“Everybody is available to make a big play on this team,” Erasmus Hall coach Danny Landberg said. “I think when your number is called, we have confidence that they’re going to get the job done.”
Led by junior defensive lineman Jose Duncan, Erasmus Hall (8-0), ranked No 19 in the Tri-State and No. 2 in New York City by MSG Varsity, shut down the Orange Wave’s explosive offensive attack. Duncan had four sacks, Samuel and Darin Peart had interceptions and Venton Johnson had a fumble recovery
“I don’t get too excited,” Duncan said. “I’m very humble. I think it’s just my job to come out here, do what I do and get these sacks.”
In what could have been a trap game coming off an emotional win over Lincoln in Week 7, Erasmus Hall got the job done in impressive fashion, setting up a scintillating regular season finale at undefeated Tottenville next Saturday night.
“This schedule has been the toughest I’ve ever had in my life,” Landberg said. “It’s worked to our advantage in that we know what it means to be in tough situations.”