Tigers top rival Rams

By MIKE SMITH

In their final regular season contest of the 2013 season, the Mamaroneck Tigers were firing on all

Mamaroneck football players enjoy a pre-game meal the night before their Oct. 19 rivalry game with Port Chester. The Hook and Ladder firehouse has been preparing weekly meals for the Tigers for roughly 20 years.

Mamaroneck football players enjoy a pre-game meal the night before their Oct. 19 rivalry game with Port Chester. The Hook and Ladder firehouse has been preparing weekly meals for the Tigers for roughly 20 years.

cylinders, earning an impressive 20-6 win over rival Port Chester on Oct. 18. Though the team has won just two games thus far in 2013, head coach Anthony Vitti believes this win is a testament to the sacrifices his players made all season long.

The Tigers win over the Rams is their third-straight victory of the Athletic Director’s Trophy, which is a symbol of the long-standing rivalry between the two schools.

“This was an awesome win for us, the kids have worked so hard,” Vitti said. “This was a great way to put a stamp on our season and I’m so proud of these guys.”

Coming off an impressive 7-1 record in 2012, this year’s Tigers, wracked by graduation and injuries, have struggled to find wins, but not for lack of trying. With an extremely small roster, the Tigers who have taken the field have gone above and beyond, according to the head coach.

“We have a saying, which is ‘all hands on deck’,” Vitti said. “We just have fewer hands, so these

Marquez Jackson-Allen, seen here in an early season contest against North Rockland, had a breakout game on Oct. 19, running for 185 yards and making 11 solo tackles. Photos/Mike Smith

Marquez Jackson-Allen, seen here in an early season contest against North Rockland, had a breakout game on Oct. 19, running for 185 yards and making 11 solo tackles. Photos/Mike Smith

guys have had to do everything.”

Against the Rams, nobody did more than junior Marquez Jackson-Allen, who ran for 185 yards on 31 carries, and found the end zone for one of Mamaroneck’s scores. On the defensive side, Jackson-Allen led with 11 tackles and 2.5 sacks on the day.

Jackson-Allen, who had a breakout season last yearearning All-Section honorshas been hampered by injuries this year, but Friday’s performance reminded Tiger fans what a special player he can be when everything is clicking.

“He’s faced a lot of added attention this year, teams are lining up to stop him and he’s had to deal with that,” Vitti said. “He’s been fighting a bad ankle sprain all year, but he was healthy and really had a great performance.”

The Tigers victory came in front of a rabid home crowd–something not uncommon to Memorial Field over the last few years. Vitti attributes the support of the Tiger faithful to the bonds formed between the community and the football program over the years. Two members of the 1947 squad, Frank Paonessa and John Whitton, were named honorary captains for the game, and the squad also ate it’s traditional pre-game spaghetti dinner at the Hook and Ladder Fire House, something the Tigers have done since Vitti’s days as a player.

Tigers chow down before heading over to the high school for their homecoming parade on Oct. 18. Head coach Anthony Vitti said the town has done a great job rallying around its student athletes.

Tigers chow down before heading over to the high school for their homecoming parade on Oct. 18. Head coach Anthony Vitti said the town has done a great job rallying around its student athletes.

“Our fans are great, and we love playing in front of a home crowd,” Vitti said. “But more than the student body, we have the firemen cook the kids dinner each week. It’s a great tradition and things like that make the kids realize a lot of people care about them and they represent a lot of people in this town when they go out there.”

The Tigers will travel to Mount Vernon to take on the Knights in a non-playoff game on Oct. 26 and are looking to close out the season with two more wins.

“We just want to do our things; run our offense, run our defense,” the head coach said. “We expect to go out there and win, to let our seniors go out on top.”

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About Mike Smith

Mike Smith has been with Hometown Media Group since 2007, serving as the company’s Sports Editor. Mike has been commended for his work by the New York Press Association, winning awards in 2008 for “Best Sports Feature” and again in 2009 as part of a team that put together “The Game,” a breakdown of the Harrison-Rye football rivalry, which won for “Best Special Section.” His weekly column, “Live Mike,” offers his unique insights into a broad range of topics in the sports world. He resides in Eastchester, N.Y. and spends most of his free time serving as the player-manager for a competitive men’s baseball team in New York City. Reach Mike at 914-653-1000 x22 or sports@hometwn.com; follow him on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports.