HARWICH – Thursday nights are not your typical football night, at least on the high school stage, but it worked out just fine for the Monomoy Sharks, who held on for a 14-12 victory in non-playoff post-season action.
“It was an overall team effort,” said Monomoy head coach Larry Souza. “Everybody firing on all cylinders, doing their jobs, and getting it done.”
Souza said the game went down to the final seconds and opened with quarterback Mark Pawlina launching a 32-yard pass to Bradley Alexis for Monomoy's first touchdown of the game with less than five minutes left in the first quarter, giving the Sharks a 6-0 edge.
The visitors then tied the game halfway through the third quarter, but the determined home team kept battling. With little more than four minutes left in the frame Pawlina found an open Tyler Potter for another long bomb, this one a 33-yard throw that Potter converted into a score, with Elijah Beasley adding a successful two-point conversion to put Monomoy ahead 14-6 as the clock ticked down toward the final quarter.
Tensions mounted when Diman scored with just 33 seconds left in the third, but then came the play of the game courtesy of Potter, who reeled in a key interception on Diman's two-point conversion to keep the Sharks in the lead.
“That was big. That was the difference,” Souza said. “Otherwise it would have been a 14-14 game.”
After that it was up to Monomoy's defense to keep the Bengals at bay, which, according to Souza, they did with gusto.
“The defense played really, really tough,” he said. “Probably the best defensive game we had. The difference was that we weren't going to quit. It was 14-12 in the fourth quarter and Diman had the ball with just over a minute to go. The defense just made an unbelievable series of stops.”
Souza was thrilled with the outcome and his team's performance.
“The kids were absolutely pumped and it was infectious,” he said. “It was something we've been waiting to see all year long. Everything came together for us.”