Wednesday night was Senior Night for the Monroe Catholic Rams. It was only fitting then that all five seniors on the team scored and scored early.
Scooter Bynum, Tyler Wells, Alex Callahan, Dylan Gavora and Michael Neville all scored in the first half as the Rams (4-1, 4-1 Greatland Conference) beat the Voznesenka Cougars 54-0.
“That was the gift I wanted to give them; the gift to be able to come in and score,” Rams head coach Bobby Pace said. “It just timed out all their specialites timed out with the field conditions, down and yardage.”
Callahan got the scoring started just 1:30 into the game when he scampered into the end zone from 25 yards out. Before the first quarter was over, Bynum would have arguably the play of the game.
Bynum caught a screen pass along the far sideline, realized he wasn’t going to make it very far and started to run back towards the line of scrimmage. He then cut across the field and found some wide open space to run 84 yards for the touchdown.
Gavora made it 21-0 with a one-yard plunge before Wells took off for a 31 yard run that ended with him flying into the end zone.
Neville would get his touchdown late in the second with a 21 yard catch and run.
“Every guy here comes out and works hard every day,” Wells said. “The whole team. The fact that we could come out here and get so many people touchdowns is great.”
Wells finished with 179 yards passing and two touchdowns and another 72 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
The seniors also showed up on defense. Bynum and Wells both recorded two interceptions, with Bynum scoring twice on interception returns. One from 55 yards on his own interception and the other from 65 yards after Wells intercepted the ball and lateraled to Bynum.
“Its just team effort,” said Gavora, who had 165 yards and a touchdown on the ground. “I’m real proud of the guys for stepping up and playing well.”
The loss drops Voznesenka to 2-3 in both the conference and overall, leaving them clinging to a spot in the Alaska small-schools playoffs over Barrow. The win improved Monroe to a 4-1 conference record.
Barrow is a half-game behind Voz in fifth place in the Greatland Conference with a 1-3 record (2-3 overall). If Barrow should beat Seward on Friday, it will leave the Whalers tied with Voz, but Barrow holds the tiebreaker.
The Cougars were able to move the ball on the ground for most of the first half but could never breakdown the Rams defense enough to score. They drove deep into the Rams territory in the first half but failed to convert on fourth down attempts.
Dennis Martishev had 135 yards on the ground for the Cougars while Avraam Kalugin had 95 yards rushing.
“I got to take my hat off to these guys,” Pace said of the Cougars. “They were on the road on a very short week, they come from a hard loss against Niskaki and they come out showed a lot of heart.”
The Rams next travel to Nikiski on Oct. 5.
“We’ve had some rough losses at Nikiski,” Pace said. “I think we have the team here this year that can prove different.”
Clarion reporter Joey Klecka contributed to this story.