Tottenville surges past Tigers in final minutes

Tottenville 33 Fort Hamilton 24

Before the sixth place 3-1 Fort Hamilton Tigers faced the first place 4-0 Tottenville Pirates, Fort Hamilton Assistant Coach Reggie Wilson stated, “We should do well since we had a good walk-through this week.  Our team just has to play to their potential.”   Not only did the Tigers play to their potential, but also proved to be the Pirates toughest competition so far this season.

With both teams practicing in Friday evening’s downpour an hour before the game in Staten Island, the Tigers hoped the driving rain would at least be an equalizer to slow down Tottenville’s high-powered offense.  Despite the slippery surface, the wet field failed to slow down neither offense as both teams traded the lead back and forth while scoring three touchdowns apiece for a 20-18 Tottenville lead at the half.

In the first half Jeff Matthews, Peter Calabrese and Jesse Bramble scored for the Pirates, while the Tigers kept pace with two touchdowns from Troy Booker and one from Noah Solano as a combined total of 599 yards (Tottenville – 308; Fort Hamilton – 291) were amazingly gained in this game despite the slippery conditions.

The third quarter remained scoreless until Tiger quarterback Connor Fitzsimons took his team on a 90-yard drive that was highlighted by a 40 yard scamper by Troy Booker (180 yards & 2 TD’s) to the 10-yard line.  With seconds left in the quarter Fitzsimons used the surge of his offensive line to finally cross the goal line to give Fort Hamilton a 24-20 lead that would only hold up mid way into the fourth quarter.

With conditions forcing fumbles for each team (Tottenville 7; Fort Hamilton 5), the normally sure-handed Troy Booker muffed a punt at midfield that proved to be the turning point of the game.  Gaining instant momentum on the turnover, Pirate running back Jesse Bramble (187 total yards) sliced 40 yards through the Tiger defense to re-gain a 26-24 lead for the Pirates.

Although the Tigers had enough time to make a comeback at 4:00 minute mark, Peter Calabrese (8 for 14 completions with 2 TD’s) demonstrated why he stands out as one of the PSAL’s top quarterbacks.  Despite the Tigers’ defensive effort to hold the Pirates on three downs, on a fourth and eleven Calabrese added an insurance touchdown with a 30 yard scoring strike right up the middle to Jeff Mathews for the 33-24 win to maintain Tottenville’s unbeaten record at 5-0.

After the game Tottenville Head Coach Jim Munson complimented the Tigers’ effort stating, “You guys played a hell of game.  This was just like a heavy weight fight tonight!”

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