Fort Hamilton stings Midwood on Hornets’ Senior Day

Fort Hamilton 38 Midwood 20

In another series of “must-win” games for the playoff-seeking 4-4 Tigers, the 3-5 Hornets hosted Fort Hamilton on their Senior Day at a rain swept Midwood Field. Despite the Hornets’ current record, the Tigers found themselves up against a highly motivated team that dedicated their last home game of the season to the legendary Midwood coach, Alan Abruse (1964-1983) during the game’s opening coin toss.

Notwithstanding the Hornets’ motivation, the Tigers scored easily on their first possession on a 70-yard drive that was capped off with a 10-yard rush by Troy Booker, his first of four touchdown runs on the day. The Hornets rallied back with a 60-yard touchdown run of their own by William Traver to put Midwood back into the game trailing only 8-6 early in the second quarter.

The Tigers scored next as Juan Tejeda hauled in a 45-yard over-the-shoulder catch at the one-yard line that was followed by another scoring rush by Booker.  The Hornets countered with another drive down to the 10-yard line until Tyquell Brown stripped the ball and Jayson Magnani recovered the fumble to short-circuit Midwood’s final attempt to score before the end of the first half.

Leading by 16-6 to start the second half, the Tigers still faced a highly motivated Hornet team that scored twice on scoring runs, again by Traver and then by Carl Colas. By the end of the third quarter, the Tigers managed to harness the Hornets by a 32-20 margin, as Booker crossed the goal line for his third and fourth touchdowns of the game.

Fort Hamilton’s game-breaker came midway in the fourth quarter as the Tigers stopped the Hornets from scoring in the Red Zone. Just down by 12 points and with the Hornets threatening to score from the Fort Hamilton 20-yard line, Magnani came up with his second fumble recovery that he returned 75 yards downfield to the Midwood one-yard line.

From that point, quarterback Sharif Legree punched the ball into the end zone to make the final score 38-20, improving Fort Hamilton’s record to 5-4.

“They came out roaring and they’re a well-coached team,” said Magnani on his Midwood opponent which currently has a number of former Fort Hamilton players on staff. “I knew that I had to take charge of the game to get the ball back to my offense,” emphasized the Tigers’ defensive leader.

After scoring a personal best four touchdowns, running back Booker added, “This was a playoff game for us! We were hungrier and we needed this game to make the playoffs.”

When asked how his team was going to prepare for the last regular season game against Lincoln High, one of the league’s top contenders, Booker replied, “We just have to work extremely hard with no slacking and just focus this week. Then next Friday night we’ll just see who comes out with the win.”

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