By Robbie Bayha Sports Correspondent. The Sharon Eagles football team beat rival Oliver Ames 28-12 in their contest this past Friday. With the win, the Eagles move to an overall record of 2-3, and a Davenport division record of 1-2.
The first quarter was scoreless, but Oliver Ames dominated field position. The Eagles were unable to move the ball out of their territory on their first two possessions while the Tigers ran 14 of their first 18 plays in Sharon territory. The Tigers eventually turned this advantage into points, and took a 6-0 lead over Sharon on the first play of the second quarter.
The Eagles took little time to answer back to the Tigers initial score. A strong return on the ensuing kickoff by junior Xavier Hackett gave the Eagles possession on their own 48 yard line. On the first play Josh Rotman took a sweep to the left, cut it back into the middle, and found his way through the defense for a 52 yard touchdown. Rotman tacked on the extra point to give the Eagles the lead at 7-6.
Both the Tigers’ and Eagles’ were unable to score on their next possessions. Another possession that ended with a punt from the Tigers gave the Eagles the ball at their own 30 yard line. A 37 yard throw from quarterback Rob Bayha to Josh Rotman brought the Eagles to the Tigers 33. After two five yard rushes from senior running back Matt Cancian, Rob Bayha found captain Bryce Smith in the back of the end zone for a 23 yard touchdown. A made extra point gave the Eagles the lead 14-6 as the second quarter neared a close.
With just under two minutes left in the half, the Eagles were able to regain possession off of the kickoff. Kicker Josh Rotman’s squib kick bounced off an Oliver Ames player, and was recovered by a crowd of Sharon players at their own 46 yard line. Senior Tyler Smith thought this was a crucial play in the Eagles’ win.
“Rotman’s onside kick got our offense the ball back when we were rolling, and it was really a game changing moment. We were able to produce points off of it and give us even more momentum” said Smith.
With time ticking down, the Eagles went to their hurry up offense. The Eagles converted two first downs on passes from Bayha to Xavier Hackett for 9 yards and Tyler Smith for 13 yards. The seventh play of the drive ended with a second touchdown toss from Bayha to Bryce Smith, extending the lead to 21-6 just before the half ended.
The Eagles received the second half kick and quickly extended their lead. On just the third play of the drive junior Juvan Elisma was able to find the endzone on a 43 yard rush. Elisma’s fifth touchdown of the season gave the Eagle’s a commanding 28-6 lead early in the third quarter.
For the rest of the game the Eagles offense was unable to add any points to finish put the Tigers down for good. The Eagles were able to gain multiple first downs on drives, but penalties ended many of those drives.
The Tigers were able to produce a second touchdown at the end of the third quarter. A 10 yard touchdown pass gave the Tigers hope, but they were unable to convert the two-point conversion, and the score remained at 28-12.
The Tigers converted three first downs on their final possession but time ran out and the Eagles walked away with a much-needed win.
Captain Joey Dowler was proud of his team’s effort and excited that they were able to beat their rival once again. “There’s nothing better than a win against a division rival. We came out strong and battled the entire night, and I can’t wait to see them again on Thanksgiving” said Dowler.
Senior John Dentino said the Eagles upcoming battle against Milford is a “must-win” game. “This next game is big for us in order to make the postseason. We’re home for the first time in 3 weeks, and we’ll need a big crowd to support us” said Dentino.
The Eagles will be back at home when they battle the Milford Scarlet Hawks (2-3) on Saturday at 1 PM.
(Photo Credit Barb Doucette Photography)