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Friday, November 19, 2010

Clinton Football Overcomes Early Struggles, Looking for Next Big Upset Tomorrow

By Selim Khan

The clock may not be ready to strike midnight just quiet yet. Just like the 2007 New York Giants that went on to an improbable playoff run that ended in a Super Bowl victory, we may be seeing another Cinderella story taking place right before our very eyes in the DeWitt Clinton Governors varsity football team.

The 12th seeded Governors used a total team effort to pull off the upset against heavily favored #5 seed Erasmus Hall Campus, 20 – 16, this past Saturday at Midwood HS Athletic Complex in Brooklyn in the opening round of the PSAL playoffs.

They will play an even-more-heavily-favored Lincoln High School team tomorrow at noon on Lincoln's home field in Brooklyn.

Governor's Coach Howard Langley was confident in his bunch because even though Erasmus may have boasted a couple of talented Division I prospects, he wasn’t sure they had “25 kids better than us.”

Erasmus junior QB/RB Wayne Morgan who Langley feels is one of those kids that could play at the next level, rushed for 125 yards against his defense, but he still felt the defense tackled well overall.

Timely plays were made on both sides of the ball. Down 16 – 8 in the fourth quarter, the Governors scored two TDs including the game winner courtesy of the arm of QB Joaquin Dejesus and the defense picked off a Morgan pass in the closing minute of the game to seal the come from behind victory for Clinton.

The Governors began the season 1 – 3. Two more quick losses came after a so-called "brawl" that occurred against Flushing back on Oct. 8. They were forced to forfeit not only the game against Flushing, but also its next game, against Lincoln, as well.

This dropped their record to 1 – 5 and placed their season on life support.

Langley felt the penalty was harsh and the ruling was premature since no punches were actually thrown. Nonetheless, he plowed forward and looked to use a negative situation as a source of motivation for his team.

The week that they were supposed to play Lincoln, Langley told his team to look at it as if it were a “bye week.” This may have proved to be the turning point of the season because not only did the team gain rest, but they also practiced better and it “brought them closer as a family,” Langley said.

When the Governors resumed their season, they won their last three games of the regular season, including a 48 – 6 drubbing of Lehman in the season finale.

Lehman awarded Clinton a sledgehammer signifying their Bronx championship.

Through all the controversy and distraction, the goals remained the same for Langley: “become Bronx champs, make the playoffs and “see how far they can go over it.”

Now, the Governors face their ultimate test this upcoming Saturday when they play top seed Lincoln, which is undefeated.

When compared to Erasmus, Langley feels Lincoln is “more well-rounded, the defense is tougher.”

Playing the role of heavy underdog once again, Langley plans on an aggressive game plan, preaching that anything goes. When asked about the prospect of traveling to Brooklyn for the second time in as many weeks, Langley puts it simply that this time of year “lots of teams are packing, so be thankful.”


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