Fort Hamilton H.S. Tigers win big

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The Fort Hamilton football team was able to come up with big play after big play to beat Tottenville, 32-7, in the quarterfinals of the PSAL football playoffs Saturday in Brooklyn.

The third-seeded Tigers were able to convert 6-of-12 third downs and 3-of-5 fourth downs in addition to forcing two turnovers to come away with a huge win Saturday afternoon. Fort Hamilton will face No. 9 Susan Wagner next Saturday in the semifinals.

“That’s just preparation,” Tigers quarterback Frank Laino said about the offensive ability to continually move the chains. “We prepared for the anything.”

This was the second win for Fort Hamilton over No. 13 Tottenville. Just two weeks ago Fort Hamilton won, 50-14.

The coaching staff really worked with the linebackers to help slow down Tottenville’s rushing attack, Fort Hamilton coach Vinny Laino said. In the last game, Tremaine Wilson rushed for a career high, today he was held to 17 yards.

“I don’t know if we did anything different, but we worked hard all week,” Vinny Liano said.

Fort Hamilton was able to get off to a strong start intercepting Tottenville quarterback Mike DiGirolamo’s pass attempt on the first play from scrimmage. The Tigers then quickly scored a touchdown on a 31-yard pass from Frank Laino to Levon Wiliams.

“I thought, ‘There it goes again,’” Tottenville head coach Jim Munson said about the start. “But, we came back and drove the ball.”

The Pirates were able to score late in the first quarter to tie up the game, but Fort Hamilton then took control of the momentum — and the game — and never let go.

After Tottenville’s touchdown, Fort Hamilton marched down the field in five plays and Brandon Reddish caught a 26-yard touchdown to put his team up 13-6.

On the ensuing kickoff Tottenville returned the ball to the 40-yard line, when Reddish said he noticed the returner carrying the ball loosely. He reached and striped the ball and held on to it for a momentum-changing turnover.

“I was just trying to help my team out,” Reddish said.

The sophomore said stripping the ball is something the team works on in practice, but it wasn’t something he had been able to do in a game. Reddish added he thought his play helped give his team control of the game.

Fort Hamilton scored on its possession after the strip to go up 19-7. Tottenville was unable to score the rest of the game as the Tigers added two more touchdowns to win 32-7.

Quarterback Frank Laino finished with 208 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air. He also had 128 rushing yards and a touchdown.

The win moves Fort Hamilton into the semifinals of the PSAL. It also helped the team accomplish one of its biggest goals: having a better finish then last year’s quarterfinal team. In 2006 and 2005 the team won the city championship. Vinny Laino said he was surprised the school was able to keep up the constant level of success.

“I didn’t think,” he said, “we’d be back this quick.”

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