Penalty call turns tide against the Tigers
Still looking for their first win of the 2021 season, the 0-3 Fort Hamilton Tigers hosted the 2-1 Seagulls of McKee/Staten Island Tech. From the opening whistle, it looked as if the Tigers had turned the tide on their three-game losing streak as Brandon “Reckless Abandon” Aranda ran back the opening kickoff for 65 yards on another one of his electrifying touchdown runs.
Unfazed by the Tigers’ quick score, McKee quarterback Karym Cruz began a 70-yard scoring drive to score himself on a one-yard plunge to give the Seagulls an 8-7 first quarter lead. Aranda then broke through to Seagull territory in the second quarter with a spectacular one-handed catch at the McKee 40-yard line to set up Charles Kitsakos to score on a 10-yard run for a 15-8 Fort Hamilton half-time lead.
After the ball turned over on downs to McKee late in the third quarter, the tide turned against the Tigers when a questionable pass interference penalty call put the Seagulls on the Fort Hamilton 10-yard line. With the goal line close in sight, Cruz seized the momentum and scored on a quarterback sweep for 16-15 lead.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Tigers short-circuited McKee’s next scoring drive when Karim Dari forced a fumble on the tackle of Seagull running back Devin Patton to set up Fort Hamilton’s last attempt to overtake McKee. Subsequently, the Tigers surged downfield as quarterback Mark Kiss hit Will Paloumbis with a 20-yard pass to put the Tigers at midfield until the Seagull defense gained the ball back on fourth down. Holding the Tigers at midfield ignited the Seagull offense as Patton made up for his previous fumble and redeemed himself with a 45-yard touchdown run for the 24-15 win.
Still in search of their first win, next week the 0-4 Tigers will host 3-1 New Dorp.
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