SHARON, Mass. – As the Taunton Tigers scored their third touchdown of the game with 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter, it looked like Taunton was going to get by with a 20-14 win and hand the Sharon Eagles their first loss of the year. Yet with timeouts left and decent field position on their own 32-yard line, the Eagles were not ready to be counted out yet.
“Before the final drive we said ‘we have 30 seconds we gotta make it happen. We got timeouts, I knew with good field position we could make it happen,'” Eagles head coach Dave Morse said.
Three plays later, the Eagles were preparing to take the lead and win with an extra point to take the game and improve to 4-0. The Tigers now stand at 1-3.
It was a huge game for Eagles quarterback Sean O’Neil who threw for 118 yards and two touchdowns along with a third score on the ground.
"I wouldn't call it a break out game," Morse said. "Sean's the kind of guy you want on your team. He prepares well, he works hard, and he's a very diligent student of the game."
After recovering a pair of Taunton fumbles earlier in the game, Sharon capitalized on the turnovers with a 27 yard pass from O’Neil to Sean Asnes that gave the Eagles an 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.
O’Neil helped keep the Eagles in the game when he capped off an eight play drive with a QB keeper at the goal line to tie the game at the start of the fourth quarter.
Down by six with time ticking away, a 50 yard pass from O’Neil to Jared Fogel got the Eagles down to the Tigers’ 18 yard line where they would have a couple of shots at the end zone with 11 seconds left. After throwing the ball away, the Eagles tied the game up on a Brad Kaufman catch right in the center of the end zone with no time left on the clock.
Needing the extra point to win, Eric Lesser’s kick split the uprights to keep Sharon undefeated.
After falling behind in the first quarter, the Tigers thrived on 4th down conversions during the second quarter as a tipped pass that looked to be a Sharon interception turned into a Tyler Manoli touchdown reception to make it a 7-6 game after a failed two point conversion.
Facing fourth and seven with 30 seconds left in the first half, a pass to Domingo Jenkins gave the Tigers the lead along with a successful two point conversion.
A final touchdown that was thought to be the game winner came off of a seven-yard run from Jenkins but a missed extra point gave the Eagles the small opening they needed to win.
With the Tigers out of the way, the Eagles move on to Canton for their first division game of the season next Friday at 7:00 p.m. while Taunton will play at King Philip.