By Dylan Butler
While a scientific calculator and an engineering degree might be needed to figure out the PSAL’s complex power points system, Campus Magnet senior fullback Martin Weir knew the formula for his team’s playoff hopes was simple.
Win and they’re in.
Weir led by example, rushing for 147 yards on 12 carries, including three first-half touchdowns, to lead the Bulldogs to a 25-0 win over Beach Channel Sunday at Far Rockaway.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Campus Magnet, which is seeded 12th and will play at No. 5 Fort Hamilton Saturday in the first round of the PSAL playoffs. Despite the loss, Beach Channel garners the No. 8 seed and will host No. 9 Columbus at Far Rockaway Saturday.
“We’ve been practicing hard all week and we came in knowing what we had to do,” Weir said. “All the credit goes to the offensive line. Without them, there is no me.”
Weir couldn’t have picked a better time to have a breakout game. With Beach Channel focusing on stopping halfbacks Courtney Jones and Raheim Bazile, Campus Magnet head coach Jimmy Ryan knew Weir, who has been hampered with a knee injury since a game against Long Island City last year, would be a key.
Weir put Campus Magnet (6-2) up 7-0 with 7:27 left in the first quarter when, on the second play of the Bulldogs’ second drive, he found a hole and ran in a 21-yard touchdown. Timik Robinson converted the extra point.
After Beach Channel (5-3) went three and out in its next possession, Weir again provided the spark, scoring a 38-yard touchdown as Magnet led 13-0 with 2:28 left in the first quarter.
Weir wasn’t done though, as he capped his first-half scoring with a 40-yard burst, aided by Raheim Bazile’s key block, as Magnet went ahead 19-0 with 9:06 to play in the first half.
“He’s been that good all year, but he’s been a secret,” Magnet head coach Jimmy Ryan said. “But we knew how good he is. Beach Channel tried to defend against the halfbacks. If you do that, Martin is going to kill you inside.”
Jones, who seems to score at least one long touchdown a game, capped the scoring with 4:48 left in the first half, exploding down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown on first and 10 from Magnet’s own 33 to give the Bulldogs a 25-0 cushion going into the half. He finished with 99 yards on seven carries.
Weir, Bazile and Jones combined for 221 rushing yards on 15 carries in the first half.
“Last week, we saw we weren’t unstoppable,” said Weir, referring to the Bulldogs tough 28-20 loss to neighborhood rivals August Martin. “We knew we had to come in and win so we practiced hard all week. We really needed this win.”
Beach Channel won five straight games before running into Martin, Bayside and Magnet, the top three teams from Queens. To make matters worse for Marty Senall’s team, after already losing junior running back Paul Washington to a dislocated right shoulder, the Dolphins were without senior running back Ricky Richardson, who was suspended after missing practice last week.
Also out of the lineup for Beach Channel was senior linesmen Val Martinez and Pablo Marquez as well as junior back Kevin Watson.
Despite being shorthanded, Beach Channel put together an impressive 15-play drive to open the third quarter, marching down to the Magnet 5. But the Bulldogs stepped up its defense as Anthony Gayle and Devon Jamison were knocked for losses. On fourth and goal from the 8, Omar Edward stopped Chris Calderone on a reverse at the 5.
“It’s always an accomplishment to beat a Marty Senall-coached team,” Ryan said. “I’ve always said I hope some day to be half the coach he is.”
Bryant 33, Flushing 8. Charlie Kim rushed for 149 yards on 12 carries, including a pair of 33-yard touchdown runs to lead Bryant (5-3). Almir Pupovic had eight carries for 109 yards and three touchdowns as the Owls ran for a total of 406 yards. Bryan English and Kim had four tackles apiece and Chris Adhratis and Pardeep Singh each added an interception for Bryant. Flushing is 0-8.
Long Island City 38, Springfield Gardens 12. Richard Akowuah rushed for 175 yards on 22 carries, including a pair of touchdown runs to go over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Corin Erby added touchdown catches of 22 and 52 yards and Ronald Whittingham had a 26-yard run for the Bulldogs (3-5). Brandon Rush scored both touchdowns for Springfield Gardens (0-8) on an 80-yard run and an 81-yard kickoff return.
Far Rockaway 29, John Adams 0. The SeaHorses magical season continued Friday with a playoff-clinching 29-0 win over Adams. Far Rockaway (7-1) was led by quarterback Aaron Pegues, who had touchdown runs of 3 and 5 yards and an interception that led to the SeaHorses’ third score, as Rashid Peterson ran into the end zone from 13-yards out. Pegues added a touchdown pass, finding James Washington in the right corner of the end zone to cap the scoring.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.