TUCKAHOE, N.Y. Alumni will be honored, the band will play and the cheerleaders will be on full alert for the Tuckahoe High Homecoming Saturday, but the Tigers football team will be focused on the game at hand when Hastings visits for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff.
The Tigers (3-2) are coming off a convincing 48-14 come-from-behind victory over Kennedy Catholic with one eye on the postseason playoffs and their heads and helmets keyed on a rejuvenated Hastings team that topped Rye Neck 24-6 last week. Tuckahoe will use the next two games of the regular season to tune up for the playoffs and defense of their Section 1 and state Class D titles.
Hastings (2-3) wont be distracted by Homecoming festivities and can be a dangerous opponent if overlooked during the excitement of the evening and would love to upset the Tigers, who beat the Jackets 46-13 last season on opening day.
The young rebuilding Tigers, who lost consecutive games to Class C powers Bronxville and Dobbs Ferry and fell behind 14-0 to Kennedy last week before scoring seven straight touchdowns to run away with the win, may have found some confidence.
We didnt play well against Bronxville or Dobbs, running back Shyheim Nixon said. We were making too many mistakes and taking off plays. We have to be ready to play four quarters every time out.
Nixon and Kayvon Reid led the way last week, each scoring twice on the ground. Fullback Nick Reisman ran one in and quarterback Mike Castracucco, a sophomore who is gaining confidence, tossed a touchdown pass to his favorite receiver Gary Moss. This should be a big week for Nixon, who has breakaway speed and will outrun most defenses.
The Yellow Jackets got their offense going last week after having scored a total of 36 points in its first four games. Running back Brandon Abrahante keyed the Yellow Jackets run/pass option offense with his best day of the season against Rye Neck, rushing for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Robert Hevia replaced injured quarterback Joe Tarricone, who suffered a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago. Hevia completed 5 of 7 passes for 70 yards and a touchdown to receiver Matt Adipietro.
Abrahante, Chris Minozzi, Jesse Greenwald, Quentin Bailey and John Cazzolli key the Hastings defense, which will have trouble running with a potent Tigers offense that has averaged 34 points a game in their three wins.
The Tigers are favored in this game but Hastings can be difficult for defenses to deal with when they scatter and throw the ball, especially under the lights and distractions of Homecoming.
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