The E-Hall Dutchmen put together what may have been a perfect performance, driven by stifling defense and the dynamic offense possessed by, perhaps, New York City’s best high school football team.
But if you ask head coach Danny Lundberg, he doesn’t care about rankings and he’ll probably disagree on the quality of his team’s outing, despite the abnormally large margin of victory.
“It was a pretty good job today,” said Landberg, downplaying the blowout win put together by his 3-0 Dutchmen. “We’re always chasing perfection, and we’re never going to reach that. Right now all I care about is ‘did we get better?’ Are we committed to getting better the day after?
“We understand the process,” he added. “It’s a marathon, so as long as you’re making progressions in the right direction, that’s all that matters to me.”
If Flatbush school's schedule is any indication they’re improving, then they’re improving.
To open their 2017 campaign, the Dutchman defeated Curtis High School, 39-20, in a rematch of last year’s PSAL Championship game when E Hall fell short by three points. Prior to visiting Canarsie, they had trounced New Utrecht 47-6. Over the three games combined, E-Hall has outscored their opponents 128-26.
“I don’t know if we have made progressions today,” said Landberg. “We’ve made some strides since camp, I feel like we still have a way to go. We’re not there yet.”
In the victory, the team was led by a number of key players, most notably junior Andrew Powell and senior Aron Cruickshank, who combined for three of the team’s six touchdowns.
Powell, who scored once in each half, was coming off an injury that kept him out of action, and returned to provide a spark in the offense.
“The plan was to get everybody touches today, and he handled his job well,” said Landberg. “I would’ve like to have gotten him some more, but I’m very pleased with him. He did what was expected.”
Cruickshank, a University of Wisconsin commit who rated as the third-best football prospect in New York City’s class of 2018, scored twice, but only one counted.
Late in the third quarter, the 5-foot-9 speedster broke one of his defenders and found himself wide open in the end zone, reeling in a 25-yard TD pass, but it was called back for holding.
On the very next play, Cruickshank was awarded a screen pass, and bolted nearly 30 yards to find the pylon, putting the final points on the board for the Dutchman. All in the name of vengeance, perhaps.
“Aron is one of the best players in New York City, if not the best,” Landberg said flatly said after the victory.
Next up, the Dutchmen will visit Fort Hamilton High School on October 1 in hopes of improving to a perfect 4-0, and possibly a perfect outing up to Landberg’s standard.