HARWICH – It wasn't pretty, but the Sharks got it done, defeating crosstown rival Cape Cod Tech 16-6 in overtime on Sept. 14 for the football team's first win of the 2019 season.
With the game tied at 6-6 as the final whistle blew, Monomoy won the overtime toss, with the Sharks kicking off the two-minute OT quarter on Cape Tech's 20-yard line. As quarterback Noah Concordia fired a pass into the end zone, Elijah Beasley leaped to snag it, landing safely in bounds for a touchdown.
The two-point conversion, however, sparked controversy as it appeared that Beasley stepped out of bounds before lunging with the ball over the goal line, though the officials didn't catch the error and deemed the play good.
Cape Tech had a chance to tie the game again during their OT possession, but Monomoy's Tyler Gorman brought the game to and end and set Shark fans cheering with a near perfect interception.
Prior to the end-game fireworks, the game was nothing short of a grind. Monomoy made it onto the scoreboard first, converting a fourth-down and 18 situation into a touchdown courtesy of Concordia and Beasley that put the Sharks in the lead 6-0 after a failed conversion.
It took the Crusaders until the fourth quarter to make their way into the end zone, when quarterback Leon Lopes hopped it in from a yard out after Claudio Senate reeled in a pass nearly on the line. The successful reception came after Lorvensky Estinvil joined forces with Lopes, Kyle Chase, and Luke Pineo in marching the ball down the field.
Pummeling defense and a wealth of penalties from both teams kept the game scoreless in the second and third, with a stunning 21 flags thrown throughout the game, resulting in losses and gains yardage in the triple digits that impacted both teams.
But there were highlights, as well, including interceptions on both sides of the ball, impressive passing from both quarterbacks, and attitudes of determination from Cape Tech and Monomoy.
Though it wasn't his team's prettiest game, Monomoy head coach Larry Souza was pleased with what he dubbed “a total team win.”
“Unbelievable,” he said. “Kids coming off the bench that hadn't played much and giving us rest. I mean, the deciding factor here is going from a 10-minute quarter to a 12-minute quarter. This game was two hours and 45 minutes long. That's two hours and 45 minutes of grinding and pounding football, and these kids had no quit in them.”
That “never give up” attitude is something Souza is especially excited about since he's felt it was lacking in the past.
“Every kid here wants to play football and wants to win a game,” Souza said. “It's a huge change. The culture is wonderful.”
Souza's shoutouts were numerous.
“The ability to have a kicking game with Graham Papenfuhs; we can always count on him to punt the ball, and the ability to know, to look and know I don't have to go for it on fourth down because my defense is doing their jobs,” he said. “I know what I'm going to get out of Beasley. I know what I'm going to get out of Tyler Potter. I know what I'm going to get out of Noah Concordia. Marcus Lefeged coming out, he's only been with us a week in pads, and just had a phenomenal game for us. David Malone, who had that pick down there in the end zone, was a soccer player two weeks ago. Tyler Gorman picking it off at the end.”
Souza's pride in his Sharks was evident.
“I'm really happy for them,” he said. “They were always in the game.”
Meanwhile, Cape Tech head coach Chris Leonard was disappointed in the loss.
“You just can't let them hang around,” he said of the Sharks. “We had the opportunity to play great defense and played the second half on their half of the field. Somebody's gotta step up and make a play right there in the end and we just didn't have it.”
Though frustrated with the penalties and the stumbles, Leonard felt quarterback Lopes, who stepped into the role after Robin Crawford was injured in the team's season opener, did well.
“LJ did sit in the pocket and threw the ball well,” Leonard said. “We just didn't bring it down. We've got to execute offensively, hit our blocks, hit our holes, and do the simple things right.”
Leonard gave kudos to Quinterias “Q” Pigo-Cronin and Maddox Walker, the team's defensive ends, as well as linebackers Joe Inkley and Brian Meritus.
Next up for the Sharks is a home game against Nauset tomorrow night (Sept. 20) beginning at 6 p.m., while Cape Tech travels to Franklin to take on Tri-County in a 1 p.m. contest. Both teams are off the following week, and return to action during the first weekend in October, with Monomoy traveling to Bristol-Plymouth and Cape Tech hosting South Shore Voc-Tech.