You can only hold Curtis Jenkins in check for so long. Eventually, the 6-2, 180-pound senior from Farmingdale with dreadlocks as long as his stride, will find a crack. It doesn't have to be a big one, either. Just a smidgen of daylight and it's lights out for the defense.
That's what happened late in the second quarter Friday night. Jenkins took a handoff in the shadows of his own goal posts, slipped between two tacklers at the line of scrimmage and then utilized his blazing speed to race 93 yards for a game-changing touchdown in host Farmingdale's 31-13 victory over Oceanside in a Nassau I game.
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"I knew we needed a big play," said Jenkins, whose burst came right after a punt had apparently pinned the Dalers deep. "I made a couple of moves and then I had the speed to take it all the way."
That touchdown made it 21-7 and Farmingdale coasted from there in raising its record to 2-0. Oceanside is 1-1. The Jenkins Jukes were much more on display earlier in the second quarter when he caught a middle screen from Vinny Quinn, bounced to the outside, sidestepped a couple of other Sailors, and broke some tackles on an exhilarating 46-yard play. However, Oceanside tackle James Kretkowski forced a fumble moments later and the Dalers turned it over.
"On the screen, I got into the open field and when I do, I like to make moves and break it," said Jenkins, who finished with 139 yards on 14 carries, including a 13-yard TD run, plus three receptions for 57 yards.
"That's who he is," Farmingdale coach Buddy Krumenacker said. "He can break open a game and he did that tonight."
Jenkins wasn't the only game-breaker for the Dalers, who built a 31-7 lead before sending in the subs in the fourth quarter. Wide receiver / defensive back Tom Kennedy also produced two huge plays. He opened scoring in the first quarter by breaking free down the right sideline and catching Quinn's long pass in stride for a 60-yard touchdown.
"It was a wheel route and I faked going out of the backfield and kept going up the sidelines," Kennedy said. "It was a perfect pass. I didn't have to slow down a bit. But that was early in the game and I knew we had to keep playing."
Kennedy was in the right place at the right time late in the third quarter when he stepped in front of a receiver and made an interception that he turned into a 31-yard touchdown.
"We were in a zone and the ball came right to me. After I caught it, the sideline was open. We had just turned the ball over so that was a big play."
Oceanside's Gilly Ruiz scored on a 47-yard run to tie it at 7, but the Sailors couldn't crack the Dalers' defense until Farmingdale had gained total control.
"They popped one on us early, but after that they didn't do much," Krumenacker said. "Our defense kind of changed the game. And we made some big plays."
None bigger than Jenkins' jaunt.