- Last Updated: 2:02 AM, December 19, 2011
- Posted: 3:43 AM, December 18, 2011
This time, Lincoln finished the job.
Appearing in the PSAL City Championship division for the second straight year, Lincoln got over the hump, winning its first title since 1993. The Railsplitters beat Erasmus Hall, 20-12, in a dramatic game that came down to the final seconds.
E-Hall was making its first-ever title game appearance at the highest classification and running back Kahlil Lewin’s improbable 52-yard first half scamper, in which he broke numerous tackles, was featured on ESPN SportsCenter’s top plays that night.
In the CHSFL, Xaverian put together one of its best seasons, advancing to the Class AAA semifinals where it came within inches of defeating Archbishop Stepinac in overtime. Fordham Prep, meanwhile, won the ‘AA’ title.
All-City football Player of the Year: Kareem Folkes, Lincoln
Folkes entered the season with a bull’s-eye on the No. 2 on his back, the lone star from last season’s runner-up. In preparation for the challenge, he put himself through a demanding offseason regimen of workouts which included working out at Chelsea Piers Blue Streak, a sports performance training organization in Manhattan, and with former teammate Ishaq Williams’ father, Shaun. They paid off with a memorable undefeated season and city championship, Lincoln’s first since 1993.
“It’s perfect,” the 5-foot-9 standout said after the Railsplitters topped Erasmus Hall, 20-12, at Yankee Stadium. “There’s no other way I would write this story. We made history. When I come back to the school years from now, I can say we did it.”
Folkes, who has drawn interest from Fordham, Wagner, Albany and Stony Brook, was Mr. Everything for Lincoln – its go-to running back with a league-leading 28 rushing touchdowns and 1,748 yards and top cornerback. But more than any on-field production, he shed his shy demeanor and became a leader for this young team. His inexperienced teammates, such as quarterback Jessel Jones and Denzel Duchenne, drew confidence from Folkes.
“I feel honored to play with that guy right there,” Jones said, gazing at Folkes in awe at Yankee Stadium after the championship game. “He did it all for us. He’s a horse.”
The best example was that city championship game against Erasmus Hall. Folkes was nursing a high left ankle sprain that cheated him of his stop-on-a-dime cuts and breakaway speed. He still pounded out 80 rushing yards and a touchdown and broke up the possible game-tying score to Luder Jean Louis, who had seven inches on him, in the end zone as time expired.
“It shows you the heart of a lion,” Lincoln coach Shawn O’Connor said. “He’s written his own legacy.”Follow @NYPostsports