WALTHAM, Mass. –- When Dave Morse took over the reins in 2011, Sharon football had only won four games since 2008.
Now, in just his second year, the 25-year old fierce head coach has taken Sharon to the promise land, leading the Eagles to a 12-3 win over Wayland Saturday in the MIAA Division 3 EMass Super Bowl.
“They bought in to hard practices,” Morse said of his team’s commitment. “They bought in to early morning film sessions. They bought into it and it shows – that’s how you win a Super Bowl.”
Senior running back Sean Asnes led the way for Sharon with 17 carries for 122 yards and a touchdown. He added another score through the air on a 4-yard touchdown reception.
“Sean [Asnes] was great,” Morse said. “He got hard yards when he needed to. He lowered his shoulder against a very stout defense that shut a lot of teams down this year. He’s learned to play running back over the last four years. He’s not just a fast kid who can touch the ball.”
After a back-and-forth scoreless first quarter, Sharon finally got on the scoreboard just before half.
With Wayland on offense facing a third down at their own 22, Sharon junior defensive end Erik Kushner sacked Wayland’s Matt Goddard. The ensuing Wayland punt came from the edge of their own goal line, which gave Sharon good field position at the Warrior 47.
The Eagles used a combination of Asnes, Toby Modebelu, Evantz Elisma, Sean O’Neill, and Adam Block rushes on the next eight plays to get to the Wayland 4. Their ninth play of the drive was a pass from O’Neill to Asnes out in the flat that saw Asnes extend out and cross the goal line. Sharon’s extra point was no good, giving Sharon a 6-0 lead at halftime.
The Eagles started the second half with a bang, as Asnes took the first snap and zig-zagged 71 yards for a touchdown to double Sharon’s lead to 12-0.
It looked as though Wayland would strike back on their first drive of the second half, marching down from their own 32 to the Sharon 9. But the stiff Eagle defense – led by Hockomock defensive MVP Brad Schiff – did their part, driving the Warriors back five yards and holding them to just a 30-yard field goal from Eric MacLean.
Neither team was able to muster up a solid drive after the opening scoring drives. It looked as though Wayland would have a chance to close the gap late in the fourth quarter, taking it from their own 27 into Sharon territory – until Kushner and senior Adam Banks came up with a huge sack forcing Wayland into a fourth and 15.
When it looked like the Warrior’s drive had been halted, Sharon’s Schiff was flagged for pass interference. Two plays later, Wayland found themselves just 30 yards out from the end zone. With Goddard out of the game, Wayland had sophomore Robert Jones under center and on 1st down, Schiff atoned for his penalty with a huge interception – his first career pick.
“We knew that was the nail in the coffin,” Morse said. “Schiff is an all-state caliber player. He’s made plays all year. That is his first career interception and it came at a big time.”
Schiff took full responsibility for the pass interference call that kept Wayland’s drive alive but made up for two plays later with his interception.
“That was my fault,” Schiff said. “You gotta move on
Sharon drained the clock some on their next play, but timeouts and stout run defense gave Wayland another shot. Jones found Roby Williams, who lateraled it to Dayleon McKenzie who tossed it to running back Robert Williams (17 carries, 98 yards). The speedster took it all the way to the Sharon 11, good for 43 yards.
However, the Eagles defense stood strong again, Jones was unable to connect on four straight throws with Schiff disrupting the fourth down toss into the end zone.
Sharon took a knee and watched as the seconds ticked away to win their first Super Bowl. For the seniors on the team, it’s a sweet feeling after where the program was when they first started at Sharon.
“This is always our goal,” Schiff said. “We strive for it year after year. I never thought we would make it this far, but that’s what happens when you put in the work and time – you get where you want to be.”
Sharon – 0 - 6 – 6- 0 --- 12
Wayland – 0 – 0 – 3 – 0 --- 3
S – Sean Asnes 4-yard pass from Sean O’Neill (kick failed)
S – Asnes 71-yard run (kick failed)
W – Eric MacLean 30-yard field goal