Chiefs Rout Hornets To Advance To Semifinals
The wins just keep on coming for the Canarsie Chiefs. Last Saturday, Canarsie's varsity football team routed Midwood 46-16, to win their seventh consecutive game since their early season brawl with Tottenville, which led to a double forfeiture and the only blemishes on their 2006 season.
"Yeah, that was the turning point in our season. We came together as a team after that and started working hard," said head coach Mike Camardese.
The hard work has paid off as the Chiefs are peaking at the right time; playing their best football of the season as they go into Saturday's semifinal game.
Canarsie displayed a relentless offensive attack in their first round matchup against Clinton two weeks ago. Even more impressive was that attack against the Hornets. Quarterback Sha-Tim Pratt had a stellar performance, throwing for 157 yards and a career high four touchdowns. Pratt connected with senior Kadeem Wilson (TD, INT) on 24-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter, followed by a two-point conversion completion to Christopher Golding to give the Chiefs an 8-0 lead.
"We scored too fast," Camardese joked after the game.
Camardese's team refused to let up after halftime as they demolished any hope Midwood had of making a comeback. On the second play from scrimmage, facing a second-and-ten from their own 20, Pratt hooked up with senior Gerson Blaise on an 81-yard touchdown bomb to put the Chiefs up 30-0, as well as putting the game away.
"The offense just keeps stepping up every week,"said Pratt.
Canarsie dominated Midwood in the air and with its ground game as senior running back Brandon Jones had rushed for 163 yards and one score.
"It was good for us to establish the run. We have our passing game but our line was blocking well," said Jones.
The coach was impressed with Jones, who had rushes of 30, 41, and 55 yards. "Brandon came to play today. We expected him to do this all season. He was a little banged up early but he is feeling good now and he ran great today," said Camardese.
Canarsie's defense was also strong as it shut out Midwood into the third quarter before allowing a touchdown. Wide receivers Wilson and Golding, who also play defensive backs, made huge contributions as each intercepted Hornets' quarterback Whisly Laurent (5-16, 67 yards, 3 INT's). Golding returned his interception 70 yards for his third TD of the game and seventh in the last four games.
"We had to come out here and play hard because we know that there could be no tomorrow," said the senior wide out.
For the Chiefs there is another game to play as they will take on the undefeated, second-seeded Curtis Warriors on the road. The Warriors are the only team that has scored more points in the playoffs than Canarsie with its own potent offensive attack. Curtis has scored no less than 34 points in their last five games while averaging 43.6 points per game during that span. During that same stretch the Warrior defense has also held opponents to an average of 10.4 points per game.
"I haven't seen Curtis play, but I know they blitz, they blitz and they blitz!" stated Camardese.
Camardese believes his team will be well prepared. "We'll do what we have to do," said the head coach. "We will be ready for (Curtis)."
Canarsie lost in the semifinal round last year and the players and coaching staff know that this is the biggest game of the season with the right to play for the title on the line.