There was no doubt that this game would be an uphill battle for the 0-4 Tigers as Fort Hamilton hosted the first place 3-1 New Dorp Cougars. From the opening kickoff, the playing field quickly appeared to be leveled when Anthony Delangelis stripped the ball from New Dorp’s Anthony Luna on the return to set up the Tigers on the Cougars’ 20-yard line with a fresh set of downs. Despite being within range, the Cougars’ strong pass coverage prevented the Tigers from scoring from the 5-yard line.
After holding the Tigers deep in their own territory, New Dorp quarterback Abdiel Gonzalez started a 95-yard scoring drive that culminated in a 10-yard Luna scoring run for a 7-0 first-quarter lead. Luna repeated with another score on a 2-yard run, while Yonathan Vitale’s 18-yard catch gave New Dorp a 21-0 lead at the half.
Receiving the ball for the second-half kickoff, Fort Hamilton quarterback Mark Kiss led the Tigers downfield for their first score of the game with a 35-yard sideline pass play to Amir “Triple Threat” Alharbi to narrow the score to 21-7. On the ensuing on-side kickoff, Ahmad Moussa made the recovery to return the ball to Fort Hamilton. However, the Tigers’ newfound momentum was short-circuited on the next play as Brandon Aranda was stripped of the ball on his reception for a turnover to end the third quarter.
With the switch of momentum, the Cougars put the game away on a 10-yard quarterback keeper by Gonzalez. Down 28-7, the Tigers made a final drive that saw Aranda make an outstretched catch across the goal line to make the final score 28-13. Still in search of their first win, the Tigers will travel to James Madison next week to face last season’s Bowl Division champs.