WALTHAM — At the conclusion of a 4-6 campaign a year ago, Sharon’s first-year football coach Dave Morse and his underclassmen set goals for the following season. Despite never reaching the playoffs, they put forth the lofty expectations of going to a Super Bowl.
On Saturday, they used a complete team effort to reach their ultimate destiny, capturing the Division 3 Super Bowl, 12-3, over Wayland at Bentley University.
“We talked about this last year,” said Sean Asnes, who led Sharon with 123 rushing yards and two touchdowns. “We wanted this game. We wanted this Super Bowl, and we’re finally here. I can’t even describe it.”
With Sharon (10-3) holding a 9-point lead late in the fourth quarter, Wayland mounted an attack that looked all but cashed out after an Erik Kushner sack left the Warriors with a fourth and 14.
A pass interference call kept the Wayland drive alive, but three players later, Brad Schiff stepped in front of Warriors tight end Kurt Straube and picked off a pass that sealed the game with just more than two minutes to play.
“I was reading my keys and I saw the kid stock-block and go out to the flat,” said Schiff, a linbacker who recorded his first career interception. “I followed him and broke on the ball. I was thinking, just get the ball to the offense and let’s run the clock down.”
“We knew that was going to be the nail in the coffin,” said Morse. “Schiff is an All-State caliber player. He’s made plays all year. It came at a big time.”
With 26 seconds remaining in the first half, Sean O’Neill found Asnes open in the right flat for a 5-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring.
It only took 50 seconds for Sharon to strike again, as Asnes took the opening play of the second half 71 yards to make it 12-0.
“We needed a big play to open up [the second half],” said Asnes. “I saw a hole, I made one cut and I was just gone. I got to give it to my offensive lineman, they did a great job.”
On the ensuing drive, Wayland’s Robert Williams (18 carries, 93 rushing yards) took six handoffs in a grinding series that set up a 30-yard, no-doubt field goal from Eric MacLean.
Sharon went four-and-out and was forced to punt from its 23-yard-line, but Adrian Lingo unleashed a 52-yard bomb, putting Wayland on its heels, just when it looked as if the Warriors might gain a major swing in momentum.
“Two years ago he didn’t know what American football was,” Morse said of Lingo, who hails from Poland. “We got him in the weight room and convinced him to go play football. He had a huge game in the Super Bowl.”
Wayland quarterback Matt Goddard left the game in the third quarter with a separated shoulder and the Sharon defense, which held the Warriors to less than 200 total total yards, capitalized. Kushner (three sacks) and Schiff (interception, two deflected passes) led the way.
“This was always our goal,” said Schiff. “We strive for it year after year. I never thought we were going to make it this far, but that’s what happens when you put in the work and time. You get to where you want to be.”