It was Friday night under the lights as the 1-2 Fort Hamilton Tigers visited the 0-3 FDR Cougars at New Utrecht H.S. field to play at “The Cage.” On the sideline before the kickoff, co-captain Sebastian Zamy reminded his teammates that despite FDR’s record they should take the Cougars seriously since they were hungry for their first win at their home field on homecoming night.
Getting right to work, the Tigers drove down to the 16-yard line on a 30-yard scamper by August Porter. However, the FDR defense forced a turnover on downs that subsequently saw Cougar running back Mohamed Diallo elude the whole Tiger defense on a 84-yard run for the first score of the game. The Tigers then answered with their first touchdown on a sparkling 21-yard, over-the-shoulder fingertip catch by Jawad Fares from quarterback Aidan Farley. For the two-point conversion, Farley found Fares again to put Fort Hamilton up 8-6 at the end of the first quarter.
After Zamy’s fumble recovery, the Tigers scored again as Farley threw a 19-yard pass to August Porter (128 total yards, 84 rushing and 44 receiving). After Farley found Porter for the score, Fares found Porter again on a halfback option pass for the 2-point conversion to increase the score to 16-6 for the Tigers at the end of the half.
The second half turned out to be a unique stalemate as both teams failed to score. The Cougars made several attempts at the end zone on long runs by Anton Ruzhanski and deep pass receptions to Peloutche Ducasse, but were turned back each time. On the other hand, the Tigers were in a groove, scoring three times, only to have each touchdown nullified on a holding penalty. As a result of the penalties, Manny Dimitrakios lost a touchdown as well as Porter’s second and third score of the game that would have given the Tigers at least a 34-6 win.
In the closing minutes of the game the Tigers stopped FDR’s final attempt to score at the 35-yard line when Tim Tan and Jorge Alarcon made a simultaneous recovery of a fumbled lateral.
Even though the Tigers won the game, they were still admonished by assistant coach Chester Evans for “shooting themselves in the foot” on unnecessary penalties that cost them three touchdowns. Promising to correct the team’s mistakes with a week of practice, Evans encouraged his team to move on, saying, “We’ve won two in a row, now let’s make that the start of a winning streak.”