By Robbie Bayha Sports Correspondent. The Sharon Eagles football team earned their first win of the season this past Saturday with a 20-14 victory against Sandwich. The Eagles showed great improvement from their last contest, a 30-0 whooping in Falmouth.
The Eagles won the opening coin toss and deferred to the second half, giving Sandwich the ball to start. After a defensive stop and a poor punt, the Eagles opening drive started in the Red Zone. The Eagles were able to make it inside the 10 yard line, but the drive ended with a 4th and goal stuff at the 2.
However, the Eagles next offensive possession was not met with as much success. After a first down rush, a turnover gave Sandwich the ball at the Eagles 10. Then, Sandwich only needed two plays to reach the End Zone. The extra point gave Sandwich an early second quarter lead, 7-0.
Another turnover gave Sandwich the ball back at their own 23. After a tough drive, the Eagles forced a 4th and 1 on Sandwich’s 32 yard line. On an attempted QB sneak, Sharon Defensive linemen Wilhelm Bolt and John Dentino wrapped up the Sandwich QB, and middle linebacker Omer Taj was able to punch the ball free. Senior Captain DE Joey Dowler scooped the ball and returned it for a touchdown, giving the Eagles a much-needed spark.
The Eagles used this momentum to make another stop against the Sandwich offense, and get the ball back with about 4 minutes left in the half.
The drive started with a 45 yard rush from Junior Juvan Elisma, carrying the Eagles into Knights territory at the Sandwich 41. A 30-yard completion to Smith brought the Eagles within striking distance. After a first down stop, RB Juvan Elisma was able to score the offense’s first TD of the season. A successful extra point gave the Eagles a 14-7 lead heading into halftime.
The Eagles received the kickoff to start the second half, looking to extend their lead. The team methodically moved the ball down the field, taking valuable time off the clock. A key fourth down conversion on a 5 yard catch by Craig Titus continued the drive. Ultimately, RB Juvan Elisma scored his second touchdown of the day, capping a 10-play 65 yard drive.
Head Coach Dave Morse was very pleased with Juvan’s breakout performance in Week 2. “Juvan hit the hole well with great acceleration. The line blocked well and created holes, and Juvan did his part by finding them,” said Morse.
Following the touchdown, The Eagles took a more conservative approach, slowing down the Sandwich offense and running the ball and continue to take time off the clock. For the rest of the game, the offenses traded punts.
One of the lone mistakes of the game defensively occurred with about 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter. On a pass play, the Sandwich offensive line crumbled and their quarterback rolled outside of the pocket. As defensive backs flew up to stop the run, a receiver was left all by himself, and scored a 66 yard touchdown to make the score 20-14 with about 4 minutes left.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Knights attempted an onside kick but junior front lineman Mitchell Liberman fell on the ball, and kept the defense off the field.
The Eagles took some time off the clock and move the ball into Sandwich territory, but ultimately gave the ball back to the Knights with about a minute and a half left.
The Eagles defense gave up a few first downs but ultimately came away with the victory. Kenny Marrero was pleased with the performance, but knows that the team will need to improve in order to beat upcoming opponent Foxboro. “Everyone needs to do their job and be flawless in whatever job they have. Everyone has to go 150% if we plan on coming out on top,” said Marrero.
Senior Captain Matt Cancian echoed Marrero’s words, stating “Ever since the beginning of the season, everyone has been improving an immense amount, and that has to continue into Foxboro week. Everyone is very optimistic and you can feel the vibes at practice have risen a lot after last weeks win against Sandwich.”
The Sharon Eagles football team (1-1) will be on the road this coming Friday night, 9/25, against the rival Foxboro Warriors (2-0) at 7:00 PM at Ahearn Middle School in Foxboro.
[Picture from @SHS_Eagles Instagram]