Peglegs Close Out Season in Second Round Exit

It was a roster with talent and experience, but they lacked the chemistry on the field and ultimately couldn’t piece it all together on a...

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On a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon, the Peglegs saw their season come to a close in a 40-14 loss against the Beach Channel Educational Campus Dolphins. This frustrating loss summed up a rather disappointing season for a team coming off such a strong season last year.

The Peglegs suffered from the same woes that plagued them all season. Despite the wide margin, the Peglegs were definitely in this game up until the crucial moments in the fourth quarter. The defense forced three fumbles, including a scoop and score by junior Joshua Goldberg. However, these timely turnovers did not spare the run defense, which was dominated all day despite the turnovers. It proved no match for the powerful, downhill rushing attack of the Dolphins.

On the other side of the ball, the offense was rather stagnant and could not capitalize on the Dolphins’ mistakes. They, like the defense, suffered from the same mistakes that were made in the season. A young and inexperienced offensive line made it a tough day for the Peglegs’ air and ground game to develop any rhythm while trying to march down the field. Specifically, bad snaps and missed blocks killed the offensive game plan, and thus the offense was held to only one touchdown all afternoon.

Overall, the team certainly regressed from last year and could not replicate the same level of success and dominance. It was a roster with talent and experience, but they lacked the chemistry on the field and ultimately couldn’t piece it all together on a consistent basis. In some games, the defense struggled to get past the blocks and stuff the run game. For other games it was the offense that couldn’t perform key turnovers caused by shaky offensive line play, which often rushed the quarterback and/or failed to create holes for their elusive backs.

Throughout the season, depth also played its part in the Peglegs’ struggles. Certain players were relied on heavily on both sides of the ball and played almost every snap of the game. When they didn’t, the Peglegs had to turn to more inexperienced sophomores and juniors, who struggled to adjust to the next level in their first time seeing the field on the varsity level. However, these lessons may prove crucial, as they has resulted in very valuable experience and confidence for the rising upperclassmen next year, when they will be called upon to fill in for the loss of seniors and captains.

Despite the loss, the Peglegs do have things to be proud of. They finished with a winning record at a respectable 5-4 and notched a dominating 34-13 playoff win against A. Philip Randolph Campus High School to reach the quarterfinals. There were also many bright spots on the roster, especially the seniors who left it all out on the field in their final year. This year’s senior class was headed by quarterback and captain Lucas Dingman, who passed for 22 touchdowns in the air and ran for six on the ground in the regular season. Running back and cornerback Franklin Liou was a star on both sides of the football, accounting for nine total touchdowns (playoffs included) on offense and two interceptions on defense. Wide receiver Clement Chan was another star; he’s the Peglegs’ leading receiver with nearly 800 yards receiving. The dynamic linebacker duo of Patrick Fennessey and Owen Potter spearheaded the Peglegs’ defense both pre and post snap, often setting the tone for the rest of the defense. This was a very special class that will be greatly missed and harder to replace as the sun sets on their storied Stuyvesant high school football careers.

Looking to next year, the Peglegs do have talent that they will look to serve as the foundation for their team that is still seeking that elusive PSAL Championship. Junior Joshua Goldberg will likely be vital on both sides of the ball as a linebacker and as a running back. Junior Jonah Keller will likely take over the starting quarterback role, as he showed promise in the last minutes in the Peglegs’ 38-0 win over Information Technology High School. Additionally, the Peglegs JV team found success going 7-1 this season, leaving some hope that talent from there could translate to the varsity level going forward.