Mistakes doom Clinton in playoff loss to Grand Street

What ailed DeWitt Clinton in its season-ending loss looked a lot like that issues that plagued it all season.

The fourth-seeded Governors were able to survived mistakes against weaker opponents, but errors and failing to seize momentum cost them in a 28–8 home defeat to No. 5 Grand Street in the PSAL City Conference football quarterfinals last Saturday afternoon.

“All though we won those games, if you look at film for us it was always big play, holding, turnover,” Clinton coach Howard Langley said. “It was exactly how the season played out for us.”

Clinton was burned early by an 80-yard touchdown pass from Justin White to Kimani Talbot. Later in the first half, White scrambled for a first down on fourth down and a roughing the passer call against the Governors negated a drive-ending interception by Joseph Kennedy. White would eventually hook up with Romilio Littlejohn for a 15-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Grand Strett midway through the second quarter.

The Governors (9–2) got themselves back in the game just before halftime thanks to the duo of quarterback Dashown Wilson Jr. and Chesley Carter. Langley gave Wilson Jr. the nod over junior Brandon Harris. In his mind Wilson Jr. is steady and played more games this season than Harris, who sat out for disciplinary reasons during the year.

Wilson Jr. and Carter hooked up for a 20-yard pass to put Clinton deep in Wolves territory late in the second quarter. Carter out jumped a defender on third down for a 20-yard touchdown grab to help pull the Governors within 14-8 at halftime. Edward Nunez ran in the 2-point conversion.

“I’ve seen the ball go up,” Carter said. “I tried to go it. I got it. I came down with it and was happy. Touchdown.”

The game got away from Clinton after that a 48-yard touchdown pass from White to Taysir Mack put Grand Street (11–1) back up two scores. The Governors looked primed to answer as Grand Street penalties brought them to the Wolves 21-yard line. Clinton fumbled on the next play and Justin Phillip returned it 76-yard for a score. Both players quickly turned the game in the Brooklyn school’s favor.

“That was the big play in the game,” Langley said of Mack’s touchdown. “The scoop and score that was a wrap.”

Despite the loss he was proud of his team’s season and what the accomplished. Clinton’s only regular season loss was to defending champion Abraham Lincoln and they earned a first-round bye in the playoffs. The players will never forget this season despite not accomplishing their ultimate goal.

“We accomplished a lot,” Carter said. “We made it to the playoffs, second round. We wanted to go to the finals, but it was an upset. I’ll remember this team forever.”

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