Truman 8 Fort Hamilton 6
BAY RIDGE — Last Sunday, 0-3 Fort Hamilton hosted the 0-3 Truman Mustangs from the Bronx in a game that both teams anxiously looked forward to as their first win of the season. In a change of strategy, Fort Hamilton Coach Dan Perez opted to receive the ball after winning the coin toss instead of his routine choice of deferring receipt of the ball until the second half.
Perez’s strategy paid off as quarterback David Harrell led the Tigers down to the seven-yard line on Fort Hamilton’s first possession. From the seven, newly converted running back Joel Torres ran the ball for a touchdown for the Tigers’ first score of the season.
On Torres’s second attempt to score, the Truman defense stopped the junior just short of the goal line for the two-point conversion attempt that turned out to be the key play of the game for the Mustangs’ eventual win.
Looking to build on their 6-0 lead in the second quarter, the Tigers drove to the six-yard line where the Truman defense once again held off another Fort Hamilton score. Sebastian Mazeneth intercepted a Truman pass at the 25-yard line for what looked like another Fort Hamilton scoring opportunity just as time ran out in the first half.
After a scoreless third quarter, Truman once again stopped another Fort Hamilton scoring attempt to start the fourth quarter when the Mustangs forced a fumble to take over on their own 23-yard line. However, the Mustang drive was quickly thwarted when Chris Bruno made a “Pick-Six” interception on a 35-yard run to the end zone that was quickly nullified on a holding penalty.
After bringing the ball back to the 30-yard line on the penalty, the Tigers failed to advance the ball and the Mustangs took over on downs to start their final drive with two minutes left on the clock.
A long pass reception brought the Mustangs down to the seven-yard line where Truman quarterback Amine Chial passed to a diving Jayden Seantlebury to tie the game at 6-6. With seven seconds left, the Mustangs followed with a successful two-point conversion run by Damari Ball for the final 8-6 win.
“It was a tough and heartbreaking loss,” said Tiger junior Co-Captain David Harrell who played both quarterback and linebacker throughout the whole game. “We let them get all the way downfield at the last minute on busted coverage.”
Sharing his co-captain’s sentiments, sophomore safety Chris Bruno, whose tough-luck touchdown was called back, said, “It hurts to get so close and then to lose. We just have to focus on the future after this game.”