It’s safe to say the Fort Hamilton football program has offically put last season behind it.
The Tigers squad has completely turned things around after only winning two games last year during an injury-plagued campaign. Fort Hamilton remained undefeated last Saturday, pushing its winning streak to four by topping visiting Sheepshead Bay 26–20 in Public School Athletic League city conference play.
Everything seems to be going right for the Tigers, and senior running back Isaiah Washington had a lot to do with the win against the Sharks as he ran for 87 yards and three touchdowns.
“Isaiah played great,” Fort Hamilton coach Danny Perez said. “He’s our team captain, he’s a two-way starter for us, and a two-year player for us. He really broke the game open.”
Washington put the Tigers on the scoreboard first. He broke away from the defense and ran into the end zone from 22 yards out to give the Tigers a 6–0 lead with 3:00 left in the first quarter. Fort Hamilton got the ball right back two minutes later thanks to an interception by junior Michael Brooks. Washington got loose again thanks to stellar blocking from the offensive line and ran for a 60-yard touchdown that made the score 12–0 late in the first quarter.
Fort Hamilton’s offense continued its assault on the Sheepshead defense in the second quarter as Brooks ran for a touchdown from 2 yards out to help give the Tigers a 20–0 lead. Washington answered an Imani Vincent rushing touchdown by scoring from 5 yards out on the ground to help Fort Hamilton take comfortable 26–6 lead into halftime.
Things got a little shaky for the Tigers after that, as Sheepshead Bay tried for a fourth-quarter rally. In the first minute of the frame, Sharks’ junior running back Jim Campbell powered through the defense for a 3-yard touchdown to cut the Tiger’s lead to 26–12. Fort Hamilton was able to run down the clock, but with just 30 seconds left in the game, Vincent found Campbell in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown pass and the two-point conversion to make it 26–20. The Sharks squad couldn’t complete the comeback after it failed to recover the onside kick
Tigers sophomore quarterback Sharif Legree had a remarkable game, looking poised, calm and collected in the pocket. He found his receivers and scrambled around when he was in trouble. Legree is following in the footsteps of his older brother Jeff, a former star quarterback at Fort Hamilton. He and his pedigree have been big reason for the turnaround.
“They taught him very well,” Washington said. “He’s been stepping up each week and every day in practice.”
Perez is quite happy with his team’s performance this season and believes that last year was a good learning experience for them. It served as motivation.
“The guys had a real great off season thinking about last season, and didn’t want to repeat last season,” Perez said.
So far they’ve done the exact opposite.