Victory Field spells defeat for Falcons - Bishop Ford gets off to a shaky 1-3 start to season

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Off to a slow start, the Varsity Falcons football team at Bishop Ford could have a rough time of a possible title in the Class ‘AA’ section of the Catholic High Schools Football League.

Still, Coach Jim Esposito, his staff and the players feel confident about the remainder of the season after a 26-20 setback at the hands of host Christ The King at Victory Field in Queens this past Saturday.

By virtue of the setback, the Falcons dropped to 1-3 while Christ The King increased its mark to 2-3.

Quarterback Dave “D.J.” Johnson’s passing lit up the eyes of Esposito and the football staff. He completed 16 out of 26 passes for 270 yards, including four passes for 97 yards to Nick Jones, seven receptions for 80 yards to Chris McMillan, and four catches for 53 yards to Sheldon Bernard.

Touchdowns for the Falcons came from Tim Wade on a one-yard run, McMillan on an 11-yard pass play, and McMillan again for 20 yards. They were not able to do much against a strong defense put up by the Royals. A key interception by Peter Nwajei thwarted the Falcons’ bid from scoring in the fourth quarter.

“Down 20-6 [in the first half], we hung in there and almost came back,” Coach Esposito said. “We tied it up. We fought to the end.”

Esposito had high praise for Wade, who can play both ways.

“Wade looked impressive in the four games, and some of his statistics show it,” said Esposito. “He can do it all. He can play good defense and when we put him in at tail back, he does a real good job.”

Overall as a team, the Falcons pass the ball well, but still have to get a better running game going, said the coach.

The offense still has to get better during the remainder of the schedule if the Falcons are to be in contention for the title.

Senior Johnson and junior Wade are doing a good job of switching their positions from last year. Wade was a quarterback for the varsity and Johnson was a receiver last year. Now, Johnson, in his senior year, is making an adjustment to quarterback.

“The adjustment was hard, but all my coaches helped me do it,” Johnson said. “At first it was a struggle and now I like playing quarterback.”

Wade started at quarterback last fall for the varsity. Now he is switching positions to be a running back.

“There isn’t much change in positions in high school,” said Wade, who has scored five touchdowns in four games. “I’m learning the position. The coach always puts me in for goal line situations to punch it in.”

Last year the Falcons posted a 5-5 won-lost record.

“We start off slow every year,” Wade went on. “We always [come together] late, and got to work at it...Our goal is to win the championsh­ip.”

At the moment though, “It’ll take a miracle to win the championsh­ip,” Esposito said. “We’re struggling right now. We never gave up on it. Hopefully, we’ll click at one point and go on a winning streak. We’re not there right now.”

In their next contest, the Ford team entertains St. Peter’s of Staten Island at Erasmus Field on Oct. 11 with kick off time 4:30 p.m.

“It’ll be a real tough game for us,” said Esposito. “I know that they’re a real physical football team that matches up well with us. We haven’t had a lot of success with them. They run very well and play tough defense. It’ll going to be a tough game.”

The remainder of the team’s schedule is Oct. 18 against Kellenberg at Ford, time TBA; Oct. 25 against Spellman at the Aviator Sports Complex at 3 p.m.; Nov. 2 against Moore Catholic at 4 p.m.

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