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An ugly opener for Bayside – QNS.com

An ugly opener for Bayside

John Morrison flew home from Lynchburg, VA to see his former teammates give the defending city champions all they could handle. Instead, the Liberty University student saw the quarterback he shared a huddle with benched and his former team embarrassed on their home field by a backup quarterback.
Bayside was throttled in their opener by Fort Hamilton, 34-0, in a game that was somehow not even as close as the lopsided score would indicate. The Tigers led 26-0 at halftime, even taking a knee inside the Commodore 5-yard-line in the fourth quarter to keep the score relatively respectable.
But it was the state of their senior quarterback Luis Toro that sent shockwaves through this proud program. Criticizing teammates, arguing with coaches and demanding the ball, according to teammate and fellow co-captain Joshua Clay, Toro was benched after a lengthy halftime when many teammates spoke out against Toro. &#8220Guys were bashing him a lot,” Clay said. &#8220It was a real ugly moment in there.”
Morrison said Toro had similar fits in the past, but he and the other team captains who are now in college would calm him down. &#8220He's just got to step up and be the leader,” Morrison said. &#8220He's the senior, he's the quarterback. I told him ‘your team is not going to respect you if you yell at them.' ”
Clay said the outbursts, on the field, in the huddle and by the sidelines, began as Fort Hamilton built an early lead. &#8220It was a real big downer for us,” Clay said. &#8220Especially coming from your quarterback, that's the heartbeat of the team. I don't want to get too graphic, but he was saying things like ‘you guys suck. What are you doing?' Real selfish things, like ‘I'm the star of the team. Give me the ball.' ”
Bayside Coach Joe Capuana, who refused to make Toro available for comment, refused to speak on the matter either - &#8220that's an in house thing,” he said - but did admit to &#8220a couple of players” getting frustrated as the score turned in the Tigers' favor.
From the outset, it was apparent the loss of 20 seniors, including several prominent defenders, their starting wide receivers and running backs, had caught up to the Commodores. They managed just one first down in the first three quarters and were shredded for 237 rushing yards.
To be fair, last year's team lost to Fort Hamilton, 40-22, and they may not have performed much better. The Tigers are big up front, athletic out wide, and have perhaps the city's top back in the diminutive Antonio Walcott. But what the 5-foot-4, 150-pound bottle rocket lacks in stature he makes up for in vision and speed.
His first touch - on Fort Hamilton's initial play from scrimmage - resulted in a 62-yard scamper, Walcott turning the corner without a Commodore hand in sight. He finished with 133 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns, running right through Bayside on occasion in addition to his elusive and illuminating moves. &#8220Whew!” Clay exclaimed when asked how to track down Walcott, the PSAL's 2005 leading rusher with over 2,000 yards. &#8220It's like trying to catch a bunny rabbit; it's like trying to catch a wild animal, you got to catch the legs.”
The Tigers didn't even require the services of Jeff Legree, the MVP of the 2005 city championship game, out nursing an injury. His backup, Taurel Price, completed 8-of-9 passes for 134 yards and two scores. &#8220There aren't many teams better than them,” Capuana said obviously.
How do the Commodores bounce back, with Staten Island power Tottenville coming to Bayside next Saturday? &#8220It's just a matter of regrouping,” senior linebacker Jerry Saunders said, &#8220and reassessing what we have to get better at.”
Team harmony would be a nice place to start.

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