In the News

NYC high school football all-stars get beat by Long Island stars, 40-8, in Empire Challenge game at Hofstra University

Erasmus Hall quarterback Matthew Domina suffers dislocated ankle in ugly loss.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 12:22 AM

New York City’s quarterbackMatthew Domina throws for a first down in the first quarter against LongIsland in the Empire Challenge High School Football All-Star Game atHofstra University on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 in Hempstead, N.Y. Dominaleft the game with a fractured ankle. (Kathy Kmonicek for the New YorkDaily News)

During the week of practiceleading up to Tuesday night’s Empire Challenge high school footballall-star charity game, Erasmus Hall quarterback Matthew Domina lookedbetter than he ever had, according to his head coach and the head coachof the New York City team, Danny Landberg. That’s saying a lot for thestarting quarterback of the PSAL city champions.

It made it all the more difficult to see Domina exit early with adislocated right ankle in Tuesday’s 40-8 loss to Long Island at HofstraUniversity’s James M. Shuart Stadium before a crowd of 9,869.

Midway through the first quarter, Domina, NYC’s starting quarterbackwas crunched on the rain-soaked turf by two Long Island defenders on arush up the middle and Domina remained on the ground after the play. Hewas tended to for several minutes before he was put on a stretcher.

Landberg confirmed the East Stroudsburg-bound Domina suffered adislocated right ankle on the play. There’s currently no timetable forhis recovery.

“He just tried to take off and make something out of nothing and justgot caught up there, twisted it and it got dislocated,” Landberg said.“I would assume he’s not going to have a great summer. Let that be theworst.”

With Tottenville quarterback Brandon Barnes out nursing a knee injury,Boys & Girls’ Keon Marsh took over and tossed four interceptionswhile going 12-for-23 for 139 yards.

William Stanback was the star for Long Island, earning MVP honors with12 rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns, including an 87-yard burstfor a score with 12:40 left in the fourth quarter. The Uniondale HSproduct who will play for UCF next season also scored on ahook-and-ladder in the second quarter. Stanback is the first player inEmpire Challenge history with four overall touchdowns in a game.

NYC didn’t have much going offensively, mustering just 162 total yards.Tottenville’s Miami-bound running back Augustus Edwards scored on a5-yard run in the third quarter to get his team on the board. Hefinished with six carries for 26 yards.

Thomas Jefferson’s Kendall (Speedy) Thomas was the most impressiveplayer from the five boroughs, slashing and dashing for 49 yards on 10carries and returning a kickoff 75 yards in the third quarter that setup Edwards’ touchdown run.

Thomas earned Player of the Game honors for New York City, something he said he was hoping for.

“I tried to give my team a little spark,” said Thomas, who will playfor Nassau Community College next season. His brother Mark played therefor two seasons and will play for Kansas next season.

Landberg made it a priority to get Thomas the ball and has beenimpressed by him throughout his high school career, heaping very highpraise on him.

“I compare him to Darren Sproles,” Landberg said, “and I can’t imagineDarren Sproles’ high school highlight film being any better than his.”

Thomas has known Domina for a long time and it was tough for him to see Domina get injured.

“Me and Matt go way back, and that’s always gonna be my friend forlife,” Thomas said. “Seeing him on the ground, that made me want to turnit up.”

The lopsided loss was the second straight for New York City afterdropping last year’s game, 31-7. It’s worst loss came in 2005, a 44-7final. Since the game changed from Nassau-Suffolk to Long Island-NYC in1998, NYC is 6-10.

“It sucks,” Landberg said of losing big in two straight years.“Listen, I’m a football coach, I’m a competitor; you don’t want to be inthat situation ever. It definitely is an embarrassing feeling. For me,let’s get ready for Erasmus now.”

The Empire Challenge raises money for the Boomer Esiason Foundation inits fight against cystic fibrosis. Boomer’s son, Gunnar, was diagnosedwith the disease at 2 years old. Gunnar recently graduated from BostonCollege.