It didn’t take long for the Mamaroneck football team to set the tone in its season opener. The Tigers came out of the gate roaring against Scarsdale on Aug. 31, scoring the first three touchdowns of the game en route to a decisive 21-7 victory over their rivals. But despite the impressive debut for a hungry Tigers’ team, head coach Anthony Vitti knows all too well that there is more work to be done.
With much preseason praise heaped on Mamaroneck senior Shane Smith, it didn’t take long for the standout to make his mark against Scarsdale. Just four minutes into regulation, Smith broke loose for a 27-yard touchdown scamper to get the Tigers on the board.
More importantly, however, the senior’s run opened things up for what promises to be a prolific Mamaroneck passing attack, as quarterback Tommy Dillon connected with brothers Charlie and Matt Parkinson for passing scores of 87 and 57 yards, respectively, before the end of the first quarter to stake Mamaroneck to a 21-0 lead.
Dillon would finish the night completing 18-of-29 passes for 335 yards.
“It wasn’t really our gameplan to come [out] and throw the ball as much as we did,” Vitti said after the game. “But we saw [Scarsdale] gearing up to stop the run, and luckily we have receivers who can really take the top off a defense and make plays down the field.”
Although the Tigers offense struggled somewhat after the first quarter, the defense was able to keep the Raiders off the board until just 3:46 left in the third quarter. Sophomore defensive back Jack Betten, playing in his first varsity game, made a big impact in the secondary hauling in two interceptions.
“There were definitely some things I think we need to do better, but defensively, you’re ultimately going to be judge on how many points you give up,” Vitti said. “We only gave up the one touchdown and we had five takeaways so that’s a good start.”
With a week 1 win under their belts, the Tigers are off to a much better start than they enjoyed in 2017, when they dropped their first two games en route to a 2-6 finish. But Vitti understands that the team will be judged not on how it starts the season, but how it continues to improve each week.
On Sept. 7, the Tigers will look for their second straight win when they host Peekskill at 7 p.m.
Peekskill dropped their season opener 41-6 to Pearl River last week.
“I’m sure the kids are excited to get that first win, but in football, you’re only as good as your last game,” the coach said. “So we’re going to need to work hard, correct some of those mistakes we made and come out on Friday, ready to do it again.”