The Monroe Catholic Rams may have had only 12 players suited up for Saturday night’s high school football season-opener, but they all contributed to an overwhelming victory against the Seward Seahawks Saturday night at Kiwanis Field.
The Rams scored in almost every way imaginable in rolling to a 63-0 Aurora Conference victory against a Seahawks squad that came to Fairbanks with about 20 players in uniform.
“I thought they put on a good show and I’m really proud of the kids,” Monroe coach Bobby Pace said. “We got to see how all that hard work these 12 guys put in paid off.”
Monroe Catholic’s shutout made it a “Shutout Saturday” for Interior teams as Lathrop Malemutes blanked the Nikiski Bulldogs 54-0 and the Eielson Ravens defeated the Valdez Buccaneers 68-0.
All of Monroe’s skill position players got into the season-opening act.
Wide receiver/defensive back Scooter Bynum had a pair of interceptions, including an 80-yard return for a touchdown in the first half and ran the second-half kickoff back 88 yards for another score.
“I was a little nervous at the start because we only had 12 guys, but it all worked out,” Bynum said. “I’m extremely tired right now and I need to do more conditioning.”
Quarterback/defensive back Tyler Wells showed his versatility with a 52-yard run and a 47-yard punt return. He also had an interception return for a touchdown nullified by a penalty. Wells also completed three of six passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns. Wells was Monroe’s leading rusher with four carries for 69 yards.
Running back Rodney Guffey scored on runs of 6 and 23 yards and finished the day with 55 yards on eight carries. Guffey had the honor of scoring the Rams’ first touchdown of the season on a 6-yard scamper with 7:52 left in the first quarter after Monroe took over on downs after Seward had a bad snap on an attempted punt.
“It felt really good to score our first touchdown of the season,” Guffey said.
Guffey said he wasn’t tired after being on the field for almost every play.
“We’re all conditioned real well,” he said. “I’m not tired at all.”
Wide receiver Brendan Maines hauled in a 65-yard bomb from Wells and tight end Michael Neville scored on a 10-yard pass from Wells.
Running back/kicker Alex Callahan scored on a 27-yard run to open the fourth quarter and capped the scoring with a 42-yard field goal. He also converted six of nine extra-point kicks.
“It was nice to see Alex make that kick at the end,” Pace said. “He’s a good weapon to have and now we know what he’s capable of.”
Defensively, the Rams only allowed Seward one sustained drive that fizzled out on downs at the Monroe 24. Monroe’s defensive line of Neville, Peter Button, Conor O’Kelley-Ault, Jackson Wallace and Joshua Watson sacked Seward quarterback Seth Brewi four times.
Dylan Gavora and Grant Olson delivered some crushing blows from their linebacker spots. Brian Meyer also turned in a big effort at defensive back.
“Everybody contributed something today,” coach Pace said.
The Seahawks only managed 114 total yards with 111 of those coming on the ground.
Seward’s Lasten Williams was the game’s leading rusher with 74 yards on 19 carries.