Fort Hamilton snaps seven-game losing streak, beats New Utrecht
Fort Hamilton quarterback Sharif Legree walked off the field at New Utrecht smiling and shaking his head at the same time.
“We needed this,” said Legree, still shaking his head. “It feels amazing to get all of that pressure off of our [backs]. We still have a long way to go, but this is huge. I hear a lot of people saying, ‘What happened to Fort Hamilton? I thought they were supposed to be good.’ Well, we’re still here — we never left.”
After going into the season with high expectations, the Tigers dropped their first three games of the season, but a 30-6 victory on Saturday over New Utrecht has them feeling optimistic that they can still salvage this season.
The win against New Utrecht snapped a seven-game losing streak that stretched back to last season. It also says a lot about Fort Hamilton’s chances, considering the Utes have already beaten some tough teams in Brooklyn including Brooklyn Tech, Canarsie and South Shore.
“Being 0-3 didn’t represent us,” receiver Mohammad Masoud said. “We lost by two points one game, six points another; we were 0-3, but we were better than that.”
The win came in a dominant fashion with Fort Hamilton looking strong on both sides of the ball.
Legree completed all seven pass attempts for 115 yards and a touchdown; sophomore running back Troy Booker had 72 yards rushing and two touchdowns; Michael Brooks had a touchdown; and Masoud had 77 yards receiving and a touchdown.
All of that against a team in New Utrecht that had previously held opponents to under seven points a game.
Fort Hamilton looked good throughout the entire game and put it away early. The Tigers were up 8-6 in the second quarter when Legree found Booker for a seven-yard touchdown pass to make it 16-6. New Utrecht was making nice progress on the next drive right before the half, but three consecutive sacks by Fort Hamilton put an end to that. A 22-yard pass to Masoud in the third quarter seemed to finish the Utes off for good.
A big reason for that improvement has been the work the offensive line has put in. It’s a line that includes two sophomores, Jonathan Louis and Joshua Porter, and a junior center with Joshua Deese, who came into the season with very little experience but has been improving fast.
“Those guys are trying to gel,” Fort Hamilton’s head coach Danny Perez said of his offensive line. “They’re the hardest working group on the team and how they go we go. Those are kids who would usually play on [junior varsity], but they’re up here playing on varsity instead, and they’ve learned a lot in those first three games.”
Fort Hamilton is hoping to turn this win into a nice winning streak with three home games coming up. It better make big improvements over the next two weeks, though, because it has undefeated Erasmus Hall looming three weeks from now.
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