The day certainly got off to an inauspicious start for Sheepshead Bay. When coach Fred Snyder was driving to the Brooklyn school before the team left for Alfred E. Smith in The Bronx, he got a text from starting running back/cornerback Devin Lee stating that Lee couldn’t make the game because he had the flu.
The Sharks’ chances only got worse from there. Lehman recovered an onside kick on the game-opening kickoff. Sheepshead fumbled in the red zone on its first drive. Sharks fullback Quran Anderson got hurt and came out.
It was a catastrophe, one that easily could have made the young team fold. But Sheepshead came back and put together perhaps its best performance of the season in a 24-0 victory over Lehman in PSAL City Championship division football Sunday.
“It was a day the kids could have said, ‘We’re packing this in,’” Snyder said. “They just rose to the occasion no matter what happened.”
Lee’s replacement, Jose Farley, had a monster day, rushing for touchdowns of 60 and 24 yards. The junior, who played JV last year, didn’t even have a varsity carry before the win.
“He ran like a bandit,” Snyder said. “He just put his shoulder down and ran. He was hard to tackle.”
Farley, though, also got hurt and had to come out. In stepped junior Romerio Vincent and he promptly caught a 48-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Adler Thony. It was just one of those days for Sheepshead (2-3), which has just one returning starter — star two-way lineman Rashid Armand — back from last year. Lehman, meanwhile, fell to 2-3.
“I think they grew up today,” Snyder said. “Each player who got in there took responsibility on his own.”
Two of the Sharks’ three losses came to top teams, Tottenville and Erasmus Hall. This victory puts Sheepshead, which meets winless Grady next week, back into the playoff conversation and that’s a big deal for a program that hasn’t missed the postseason since 1996.
Said Snyder: “We would tell the kids, ‘Do you want to be the first team to break the streak? That’s one of the motivation factors for them.”
This week, though, they were completely self motivated.
“Whatever happened, it didn’t shake them at all,” Snyder said. “They were bent on winning today. … After that fumble, I think the kids were just tired of screwing up. They took the game into their own hands.”