HARWICH – The Monomoy Sharks dominated the first half of their Nov. 2 game against Randolph, and then held on in the second to win by a precious two points in non-playoff action that saw strong performances from the majority of the Monomoy roster.
Quarterback Mark Pawlina ran in Monomoy's first touchdown of the game in the opening quarter, with Chris Hall snagging an impressive two-point conversion to ignite the Sharks, giving them an 8-0 edge as the game got under way in Harwich.
The Sharks struck again in the second quarter when Pawlina connected with Elijah Beasley on a seven-yard pass, this time with Isaac Hart on the conversion, putting the Sharks ahead 16-0 at halftime, with Tyler Potter adding Monomoy's third touchdown of the game in the third quarter to put the Sharks well ahead at 24-6.
A 60-yard rushing touchdown from Beasley in the fourth seemed to give the Sharks the game, but that's when things got interesting. Small but significant errors led the visiting Blue Devils to chip away at Monomoy's lead until the scoreboard sat at 28-30 in the final minutes, with the ball in Randolph's possession. It was up to the Shark defense to save the game, which they did with ferocity, thwarting the Blue Devils' conversion attempt to give Monomoy the win.
Given that Randolph had been in the playoffs until an ineligible player infraction ousted them, Monomoy head coach Larry Souza dubbed his team's victory a big one.
“It was a huge team win,” he said. “A big difference in the way that we play. It's pretty special for these kids to have that moment.”
Though pleased with the outcome, Souza acknowledged that it wasn't an easy win.
“It was a tough game,” he said. “We came out and did what we needed to do and moved the ball really well. Our defense held up really well, and we really took control of the game. Unfortunately we came out in the second half and made a couple of mistakes, but I'm really proud of the kids because we bent but we didn't break. Our kids kept fighting back and were able to hold things together and keep them out of the end zone for the two-point conversion and give us the win.”
While Souza emphasized the whole-team win, he gave nods to several key players.
“I've got to say that Kyle Charlot dominated with 14 tackles tonight,” Souza said. “This is a kid who's coming off an injury and is still injured and is still playing with every bit of heart. And Chevar Shakespeare, playing without an ACL (a knee ligament) and just all season has been an iron man for us. They're doing a great job.”
Souza also praised the work of his offense.
“The running backs, all of those kids had a lot to do with this win,” he said. “Our kids really stepped up.”
Monomoy travels to Sandwich tomorrow night (Nov. 9) to play the Blue Knights in their next non-playoff game.