Fort Hamilton 42 Thomas Jefferson 14
After suffering a stinging loss to first place Erasmus last week in double overtime, the 3-4 Tigers met the 2-5 Orange Wave of Thomas Jefferson in East New York. This game would be the first of Fort Hamilton’s last three consecutive road games to close the regular season.
On the line for Fort Hamilton was another shot to even their record at .500, and a chance to keep their playoff hopes alive in the PSAL’s new tighter playoff format where only 12 instead of 16 teams make it to the post season.
On their opening possession, the Tigers struck first as Troy Booker rambled for a 40-yard gain, which he followed with a 20-yard sweep for a touchdown. After giving Booker a key block to spring him into the end zone, Juan Tejeda congratulated his teammate and said; “Did you see that block; now you owe me one!”
But before Booker could repay Tejeda, on the following series, the senior wide receiver beat his defender for the Tigers’ next touchdown on a 70-yard pass play to make score 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Tigers added on two more scores in the second quarter. First on a 10-yard run by Noah Solano, followed by a 10-yard reception by Mike Masoud. The Orange Wave managed to add a touchdown to finish the quarter as the half ended with a substantial 30-6 Fort Hamilton lead.
To open the third quarter, the Tigers gave the Wave an early knock-out blow as Booker made one of his electric scoring returns, taking the second-half kickoff 90 yards to put the game out of reach for Jefferson. Noah Solano added his second touchdown of the game on a two-yard rush as the third quarter came to the end with Fort Hamilton handily up by the score of 42-6.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Tigers were penalized back to their own 10-yard line that the Orange Wave used for their last scoring opportunity. After gaining possession on a blocked Fort Hamilton punt, Jefferson’s Olatundo Bruin rushed the ball into the end zone for the final score of the game for the 42-14 Fort Hamilton win.
Summing up his team’s big win, junior defender Ayorinde Idowu stated, “We put an extra effort into the game today after a disappointing loss last week. As you know, last season we lost to Campus Magnet with a similar record and we didn’t want the same disappointment — another upset. We came here with a mindset ready to play.”
“In addition to having some big plays on offense, the defense and special teams also played all phases of the game well,” said Fort Hamilton Head Coach Dan Perez. Looking forward to next week’s game with Midwood, Perez characterized the meeting as a “reunion” game of sorts as the 4-4 Tigers will meet for the first time a core of their former Fort Hamilton coaches.