Fort Hamilton wins its first game of the season

November 8, 2021 Jim Dolan
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It was a Friday night under the lights as the 0-6 Fort Hamilton Tigers traveled to play the 0-6 Tilden Blue Devils in a game in which one of the teams would finally get its first win of the season.

Feeling confident and well prepared for the game, Tiger linebacker Ahmad Moussa boldly predicted, “On the kickoff I’m going to strip the ball and get it back for my team.” Although Moussa fell short of his prediction, his breakthrough solo tackle of Tilden’s kickoff receiver at the 10-yard set the tone for the Tigers for the rest of the game.

With the Blue Devils at an early disadvantage deep in their own end from the onset, the Tigers held the Tilden offense and took over on downs. On Fort Hamilton’s first possession, running back Charles Kitsakos sliced 15 yards into the end zone for a quick 7-0 lead. Kitsakos followed up with another score from 14 yards to give Fort Hamilton a 13-0 first quarter lead.

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In the next quarter, Brandon Aranda read Tilden’s pass route well enough to come up with an interception that he returned for a 45-yard touchdown, only to have it nullified on an illegal block by teammate Brandon Ha. Restarting from the 35-yard line, Kitsakos eventually ran the ball from the 5-yard line into the end zone for his third score of the game to give the Tigers a 20-0 lead. Midway in the second quarter, the defense got the ball back for the Tigers once more as Sebastian Zamy recovered a fumble to set up Kitsakos’ fourth touchdown, a 40-yard darting scamper to put the Tigers ahead 27-0 at the half.

In the second half, the Tiger defense continued to hold the Blue Devils scoreless as Adam Amin batted down a Tilden pass and Brandon Ha made up for his earlier penalty when he recovered a fumble that was knocked loose by Chris Bruno. While Kitsakos rested on the sideline from his stellar first-half performance, Varsity newcomer Nick Perez was inserted at running back. Drawing inspiration from Kitsakos, Perez nearly scored his first touchdown as he ran for 35 yards to the one-yard line, just getting caught inches before the goal line for the final play of the game.

In addition to Fort Hamilton’s first win of the season, Kitsakos (109 yards on six attempts) tied a school record by scoring four touchdowns. Not since 2006, when Antonio Walcott singlehandedly beat Curtis in the PSAL Championship game with his four scores, had this record been either matched or broken.

Wrapping up the game, Tiger coach Dan Perez told his team to enjoy the moment but to also keep their focus and momentum going into next week’s homecoming game against New Utrecht.

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