Monomoy Football Snaps Skid, Keeps Postseason Hopes Alive With Homecoming Win
By: Brad Joyal
Topics: School Sports , Monomoy Regional High School , Football
HARWICH – It all started during the week of practice leading up to the game.
Following back-to-back road losses at Bourne and Holbrook, the Monomoy football team approached the last week of practice with a renewed sense of energy, commitment and focus.
It paid off in a big way Friday night, when the team pulled away from Upper Cape Tech for a 28-8 victory in front of a festive homecoming crowd in Harwich. The win not only helped the Sharks (4-3) snap their two-game losing skid, it also helped the team keep its Division 7 playoff hopes alive.
“We had not had a good week of practice in probably two weeks, and this week they were very organized, they were smart, they came to practice and came focused and every day they were getting better,” Monomoy coach Rob Sliney said. “This is the team we started the season with. We got in a little funk but fought out of it this week.”
The offense rekindled the high-scoring passing attack it displayed early in the season, with junior quarterback Jake Vagenas throwing three touchdown passes to three different receivers.
He started the scoring in the opening quarter with a 50-yard touchdown strike to classmate Quinn Connors, connected with Jack McCarty for a 34-yard passing score in the second quarter and with Dillon Chapman for a 14-yard TD in the third.
“We were spreading the ball around,” said Vagenas. “Everyone did their part tonight, especially the offensive line.”
Upper Cape Tech (3-4) scored late in the first half when Markeno Glenn broke free for a 40-yard touchdown run, though that was the only blemish for Monomoy in the win.
“It was a lot of work,” senior linebacker Jordan Charlot, a Harwich resident, said of the defensive effort. “We just talked, talked, talked. It was mainly a communication thing.”
The Sharks really separated themselves in the third quarter, when they used up the first 9:03 of the frame with a long, methodical drive that ended with the touchdown pass to Chapman, a sophomore.
Chapman was instrumental throughout that possession. Before he capped it off with a touchdown grab, he moved the chains periodically after picking up first downs while carrying the ball from the backfield.
“Dillon is an athlete,” Sliney said. “He sees the hole and reads the hole and his blocks. He comes to work every day. He’s one of those guys that can joke around here or there, but when it comes time to work, he gets his work done.”
Although Monomoy is currently on the outside looking in, the team could qualify for the Division 7 state tournament depending on how it fares against Wareham on Thursday night and how other Division 7 teams do in their own games.
Regardless of whether the team ultimately makes the tournament or not, Sliney and the players recognize just how far the program has come this year, the coach’s first at the helm.
“We haven’t made the playoffs in forever, that would be wild if we could,” Vagenas said. “I think we can, but we’re going to have to be focused in practice just like we were this week.”
Sliney said making the state tournament would be “monumental,” not only for the football program “but for the school.”
“We haven’t had a huge football culture around here in a long time,” Sliney said. “COVID was a big part of that — it kind of broke us down a little bit — and we’re fighting our way back. In our first year of really being back with no COVID restrictions, if we could come out full firing and make the playoffs, that would be huge for us.”