By MIKE SMITH
After kicking off the 2013 campaign with a week-one win, the Mamaroneck Tigers stumbled on Sept. 12 as they fell at home to a tough North Rockland team 14-0. Despite the defeat, however, head coach Anthony Vitti saw plenty of positives to build on as the team moves forward this fall.
A sturdy Red Raiders defense limited the Tigers to just 102 yards of total offense on the day, but Vitti maintains that the game’s final numbers don’t tell the whole story. The Tigers had some chances early, but untimely penalties and miscues put them in a hole from which they would not be able to escape.
“North Rockland is a very good football team; they’re well coached, they’re disciplined,” Vitti said. “They tried to take away some of our strengths, but we had a lot of unforced errors and were our own undoing.”
One bright spot for the Tigers offensively was the play of junior running back Marquez Jackson-Allen, who rushed for a team-high 52 yards and had two receptions for 30 yards on the afternoon.
Although Mamaroneck’s offense struggled to find a rythym, its defense was again on point, holding the potent Rockland squad to just 14 points on the afternoon. Combined with week one’s performance against Carmel–which saw the Tigers surrender just 13 points–the defensive unit seems to be firing on all cylinders early on. Linebacker Andrew Sommer was particularly effective, notching 10 solo tackles and assisting on 14 others.
“We knew that, offensively, with a bunch of new starters, it was going to be difficult and we would have to gel fast,” Vitti said. “But defensively, the expectations were always high. You’ve got to play defense with a high level of emotion and our guys are doing that right now.”
The Tigers, now 1-1, will travel to Ramapo on Sept. 19 to take on the Gryphons, who are coming off a loss to Clarkstown South. With an extra day to prepare for the task at hand, the Tigers have been watching film to correct some of the mistakes that plagued them in the Rockland game and preparing for what the speedy Gryphons will throw at them.
“For the third straight week, we’re facing a different style of offense,” Vitti said. “After two physical games, the extra time is good in letting us rest and preparing for what we need to do.”
As for the loss, the head coach is confident his squad will be able to put it in the rearview as they get ready for their next contest.
“You don’t have a choice, you only get to play this game for a short precious time,” Vitti said. “I’m expecting us to have some good practices and get ready to go.”