By Jacob Schneider
The Bayside Commodores won their season opener over Tilden High School Friday in dominating fashion.
Tilden managed a first down on its opening drive, but from then on it was all Commodores, as they rolled to a 32-0 victory.
Junior running back Josh Rodriguez ran for a 35-yard touchdown on Bayside’s first offensive play of the season and the hosts never looked back.
“I started last year but didn’t score any touchdowns. I didn’t play very well” Rodriguez said. “I came into today motivated.”
Rodriguez scored three touchdowns on the day, while 2016 TimesLedger All-Queens quarterback Tequan Evans added two passing touchdowns of his own.
David Loayza hauled in one of the scoring passes, from 35 yards out. The second was hauled in on an athletic grab by senior Robert Williams.
“It was a good win, but it was a sloppy win,” Evans said. “We have to check the mistakes in film and focus more. That was a big problem during practice, we weren’t that focused.”
The Bayside defense controlled the game from the start, limiting the Tilden offense. Reigning TimesLedger Queens Coach of the Year Jason Levitt was fully expecting this type of performance.
“I knew we had a good defense coming in,” Levitt said. “I love film. I’m a student of the game, so we knew what they were going to do. So we were prepared.”
Senior defensive tackle Le’Aundre Gray set the tone early when he recorded his first sack of the season, forcing Tilden to punt on the opening drive. Gray also had one of two fumble recoveries by the Commodore stop unit, the other by senior defensive lineman Sebastian Torres.
Levitt was also very pleased with the way the offense was able to string together a few long scoring drives since they’re accustomed to being a big-play offense.
After an 8-3 2016 season that ended in the PSAL Bowl semifinals, Bayside is expecting big things this season.
“I expect to win every game,” Levitt said. “This is how we prepare.”
The big goals aren’t just team oriented. Evans, a senior, has lofty expectations of himself.
“I want to do better than I did last season,” Evans said. In 2016 he was All-Queens, All-Conference, and All-Division, but for 2017? “I want to go All-State.”
Springfield Gardens 30, Petrides 0: The Golden Eagles took an early lead they never relinquished in their season opener. Senior Christian Judge completed six of nine passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns, while fellow senior Conrad Barlow added a rushing touchdown. Tyrese Shultz recorded an interception to lead the Springfield Gardens defense.
Lafayette Educational Complex 22, Jamaica 14: The Beavers struggled to move the ball in their opening-day loss, putting up just 14 points. They trailed 6-0 at halftime and were down 14-8 heading into the fourth quarter, but were unable to mount a comeback and fell to 0-1 on the season.
St. Francis Prep 15, Holy Trinity 7: The Terriers fell behind 7-0 in the first quarter, but scored before halftime, making it 7-6. St. Francis Prep kept Holy Trinity out of the end zone for the rest of the game while tacking six points in the third and three in the fourth to secure a 15-7 victory.
Holy Cross 41, Moore Catholic 8
Flushing Campus 36, Harry S. Truman 18