This past Friday, the Fort Hamilton Tigers crossed the bridge to play the Seagulls of McKee/Staten Island Tech. The Seagulls got the ball first on their own 39-yard line and marched quickly downfield for the first score of the game on a 20-yard pass from Andrew Mai to Devin Patton for a 6-0 lead.
Fort Hamilton’s first possession started from its own 40-yard line. Tigers quarterback Mark Kiss started by throwing two completions, including one for 19 yards to receiver Emmanuel Dimitrakios. A subsequent 13-yard run by Kiss brought the ball to the 19-yard line, where the Tigers would surrender it on downs to end the first quarter.
In the second quarter, starting from their own 7-yard line, the Seagulls made a 93-yard drive ending in a 30-yard touchdown run by Sega Sylla for a 14-0 lead. The Tigers answered back as Kiss ran for 27 yards to drive down to the Seagull 29 as the half concluded.
After a failed onside kick by the Seagulls to start the second half, the Tigers took over on their own 46-yard line. With Charles Kitsakos moving the ball down to the 19-yard line on consecutive runs, Kiss’ next 10-yard run set up Kitsakos’ 9-yard score to get the Tigers on the board.
The third quarter ended with Fort Hamilton trailing 14-6. Midway through the fourth quarter the Seagulls added to their lead on a touchdown run by Mai to make it 20-6.
Down by two touchdowns, a determined Kiss drove his team downfield and threw two long passes to Dimitrakios and Kitsakos to break into the Seagull red zone. After out-jumping his defender on the last play to haul in the pass, Kitsakos then rushed up the middle to score the touchdown and a 2-point conversion to narrow the score to 20-14.
With time running out, the Tigers made one final drive to tie the score and possibly win the game with a conversion. Unfortunately, on the last play of the game on the Seagull 38-yard line, Kiss drew heavy pressure from the defense and could not locate an open Tiger receiver downfield.
Despite the loss, the steadily improving Kiss had another good game, throwing for 55 yards and running for 90 yards on 10 attempts. Kitsakos scored two touchdowns for a total of six over his last two games, while Dimitrakios has emerged as one the team’s top receivers.
On the defensive side, three-year varsity senior and middle linebacker Karim “All Contact” Dari led the defense with six tackles, adding to his team-high total of 24 over the past three games. After the loss, Dari, as one of the team’s leaders, challenged his teammates to correct the mistakes that were made on the field since he felt that a win was just within their grasp. He reminded the team that they all work too hard in practice during the week to have opportunities to win slip through their hands.
The Tigers have a bye on the schedule next week. They will prepare for a home game against the Tottenville Pirates, which will begin at noon on Oct. 22.