TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – The Tuckahoe Tigers’ Saturday homecoming day and evening festivities were all on the line during the big fourth-quarter effort to overcome a tough visiting Hastings team in a 37-22 victory.
“We had to make big plays to beat them because they played tough,” Tigers halfback/linebacker Shyheim Nixon said. “The game could have gone to them, but we stopped them on defense and then closed it out.”
Nixon’s cut-and–slash kickoff return early in the fourth quarter gave the Tigers field position in Hastings territory with the visitors leading 22-18. Nick Reisman, who scored two touchdowns in the game, rolled in from the 11-yard line to give the Tigers a 24-22 with 10 minutes remaining in the game.
The Tigers (4-2) won their second straight game and headed into next week’s regular-season finale with their focus on the Class D postseason playoffs, while Hastings fell to 2-4.
“They played a heck of a game and their running back No. 4 is some player,” Tigers coach John D’Arco said in reference to Hastings’ Brandon Abrahante. “He’s got to be one of the best backs on the league.”
Tuckahoe broke out to a 12-0 lead on touchdown runs by Shyheim Nixon and Gary Moss, but the Jackets fought back to make the score 12-6 on a nifty 9-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Rob Hevia to receiver Matt Adipietro. The two connected again on the two-point conversion to pull Hastings to 12-8.
Reisman scored the first of his two touchdowns on an 11-yard blast to give the Tigers an 18-8 lead before Hevia and Adipietro connected again from 8 yards out to make the score 18-16 as the teams went into halftime.
Hastings came out of the halftime inspired and moved the ball into scoring position where Abrahante’s 3-yard run five minutes in the third quarter gave the Jackets their first and only lead at 22-18. But Reisman scored again to give the Tigers the lead at 24-22.
Hastings had one more opportunity to spoil homecoming when they moved into Tigers territory with less than five minutes remaining in the game, but failed on a fourth down play and turned the ball over to the Tigers.
Kayvon Reid scored on an 11-yard run with 1:40 remaining in the game for a 30-22 Tigers lead and Moss returned an interception 38 yards to close out the scoring at 37-22.