Amazingly, this past Sunday all necessary game personnel made it through the neighborhood’s NYC Marathon roadblocks to reach Fort Hamilton H.S. as the 3-3 Tigers hosted the 2-4 Flushing Red Devils. For the Tigers, this seventh game of the PSAL’s eight-game regular season had definite playoff implications.
After a good week of practice, the Tigers were confident for a win before the game. While still in the locker room some players even dared to make a bold prediction about their performance. When told to have a “good game,” Tigers co-captain Jawad Fares said, “I’ll do better than that and score two touchdowns.” Teammate Manny Dimitrakios also was feeling confidant and said, “You watch, I’m going to turn in a 100-yard receiving game today.”
As predicted, on his way to a 100-yard game, Dimitrakios caught a 35-yard pass to open the game on Fort Hamilton’s first play from scrimmage. On a subsequent play, quarterback Aidan Farley hit Fares on a 15-yard pass in the end zone for the first of his two “called” touchdowns to end the first quarter with an 8-0 lead.
In the second quarter the Tigers scored quickly as Farley found Dimitrakios on a 7-yard pass to increase the lead to 16-0. On the ensuing play, the Tigers recovered the on-side kick-off that led to a 45-yard pass play to Ismail Haider that practically sealed the game for Fort Hamilton by the middle of the quarter, 24-0.
By mid-quarter, Farley was clicking with all his receivers and this time found Fares again over the middle to score on a 55-yard pass play. The Red Devils still pushed ahead for a final drive to close out the half on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Najay Mitcham to Joshua Chang to finish the half at 30-8.
In the third quarter, August Porter flashed down the field on an 80-yard punt return only to have to his touchdown called back on a holding penalty. To open the fourth quarter, Ajani Carew-Robinson intercepted the ball at Fort Hamilton’s 30-yard line to set up Porter’s second chance for a touchdown. As the Tigers drove down to the 7-yard line, Porter burst through the middle to cap off Fort Hamilton’s last regular season home game with a 38-8 win.
For the next game, the Tigers have a quick turnaround as they take on Stuyvesant H.S. Friday night at Manhattan’s Pier 40 to close out the regular season.