By Dylan Butler
Courtney Jones had waited long enough. For the past three weeks, the Campus Magnet junior running back practiced. No games, no scrimmages, just practice.
The Bulldogs were scheduled to be on the field two weeks ago, but Thomas Jefferson was forced to forfeit because it didn’t have enough eligible players. Last week Campus Magnet was suppose to play Evander Childs, but all PSAL football games were canceled because of the World Trade Center terrorist attack.
So when it finally came time to get on the football field to play a game Saturday against Long Island City, Jones couldn’t wait. He carried the ball just four times, but for a total of 189 yards and three touchdowns as the host Bulldogs crushed the visiting Bulldogs 40-13.
“The whole team was a little anxious,” Jones said. “We came out here and knew what we had to do. We weren’t over excited.”
Not that Campus Magnet (2-0) needed any more incentive, but those who were on the varsity squad last year certainly remembered their 19-14 loss at Long Island City.
“Last year we looked over them and they came out and beat us,” said senior running back Raheim Bazile, who garnered 95 yards on six carries. “I especially wanted this victory because I was injured for last year’s game.”
Bazile led by example right away for the Bulldogs, as he broke a tackle at the four and scored on a seven-yard touchdown run. Timik Robinson’s extra-point gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 8:40 left in the first quarter. The combination of running backs Bazile, Jones and Martin Weir — who caught a 36-yard pass from senior quarterback Omar Edward to set up Bazile’s touchdown — proved to be too much for the LIC defense.
“They didn’t surprise me,” said Magnet head coach Jimmy Ryan. “Courtney, Raheim, Omar and Martin are very good. What did surprise me was how well the offensive line blocked.”
The likes of center Jose Cordero, tackle Jamil Coleman, guard Daveon Greenwood and tight end Ian Odom provided the explosive backfield ample room to run.
“I gotta buy my linemen something because they did a great job,” Jones said.
The Bulldogs needed just three plays to score again, as Jones took his first carry and broke down the right sideline for a 60-yard gallop to give Magnet a 13-0 lead with 3:18 left in the first quarter.
Long Island City (0-2) coughed the ball up on the second play of their next drive, as Coleman jarred the ball out of Kenny Coyle’s hands and Darion Gainous recovered for Magnet on the LIC 27.
Magnet went ahead 19-0 at the end of the first quarter as Weir (67 total yards) found a hole and easily ran into the end zone from 13 yards out.
“It was a rough two weeks with the layoff and a couple of kids missed a few days of practice,” said Long Island City assistant coach Harley Watstein. “They made a couple of big plays and we couldn’t get a stop. They’re a fast team, they’re solid.”
Another fumble, this one by Corin Erby and picked up by Weir, set up Magnet’s fourth score, as Bazile ran down the left sideline, cut inside at the 30 and was gone for a 48-yard touchdown. Bazile also scored on the two-point conversion to give Magnet a 27-0 lead with 5:40 left in the second quarter.
After LIC got on the scoreboard when quarterback Danny Urquia connected with Erby for a 69-yard touchdown pass with 3:09 left in the second quarter, Campus Magnet struck again, as Bazile handed the ball off to Jones on a reverse and the third leg of the Campus Magnet 4×200 national championship relay track team scored on a 70-yard touchdown run to give the Bulldogs a 34-6 lead at the half.
LIC used the entire third quarter to orchestrate a 16-play, 66-yard drive that was capped by Richard Akowuah’s five yard run to cut the Bulldogs lead to 34-13. Akowuah was one of the lone bright spots for LIC, rushing for 111 yards on 21 carries.
As they did in their first five possessions, Campus Magnet scored again on Jones’ 55-yard touchdown run, his third of the game, to put the Bulldogs ahead, 40-13 with 9:12 left in the game.
Campus Magnet hosts Lafayette Saturday while LIC is home for Stuyvesant. Both games kickoff at 11 a.m.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.