This past Friday the Fort Hamilton Tigers traveled to the Bronx to play the Harry S. Truman Mustangs. Both teams had won their previous game and were coming into this game with high hopes for a consecutive win.
After a 30-yard run by Charles Kitsakos to the 10-yard line, the Mustangs took over on downs and marched 90 yards downfield to score on a handoff from quarterback Jacobi Garcia to Kayami Edwards. The Tigers answered back from their own 30-yard line with their first score as Kitsakos advanced the ball on three consecutive runs of 11, 12 and 15 yards and a 20-yard pass for a 12-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 6-6 at the end of the first quarter.
On their next possession in the second quarter, the Mustangs scored on a busted play as a high snap was batted up in the air and caught by a Truman running back who dashed 60 yards to score for a 14-6 Mustang lead. The Tigers responded right away as quarterback Mark Kiss hit wide receiver Gabriel Zindani on consecutive passes to set up Kitsakos’ second score on an 8-yard screen pass to narrow the score to 14-12 at the half.
In the second half the Mustangs came out hot and scored two more touchdowns to make the score 26-13. Then late in the third quarter, Kitsakos showed everyone how he earned “The Rocket” as his nickname. Picking up the ball at the 10, the senior running back electrified the crowd with 90-yard kickoff return, outrunning all his defenders to put the Tigers back into the game, 26-20.
In the fourth quarter, the Tiger defense, led by Anthony DeAngelis, Kevin Sanchez and Bryan Castro, held the Mustangs on downs for a turnover at the Truman 40-yard line. From there, Kiss ran a bootleg for 25 yards to set up a short screen pass to Kitsakos for his fourth score of the game. With the score tied at 26-26, the Tigers forced a second turnover that resulted in another Tiger touchdown pass from Kiss to Emmanuel Dimitrakios for the 34-26 go-ahead score.
With a number of penalty calls against Fort Hamilton and with darkness setting in midway in the fourth quarter, the Mustangs roared back with two stinging scores – first on a long drive and then on a blocked punt return – for the final score of 42-34.
Despite the tough loss, the Tigers have established themselves as leaders in the PSAL. After two league games, junior quarterback Mark Kiss is ranked as the No. 5 passer in the league as he completed 19 of 29 passes for 161 yards for 3 touchdowns and rushed for 83 yards on 7 attempts in this game. Also for this game, Kitsakos had 260 all-purpose yards and scored 4 touchdowns, which tied his record from the previous season. Over the past two games Kitsakos has gained 377 all-purpose yards along with 6 touchdowns.
On Oct. 7, the Tigers will play the McKee H.S. Seagulls in Staten Island.