Monroe Football defeats Eielson for first time in school history
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -
After 12 years of being on the wrong side of the scoreboard, the Monroe Catholic Rams finally got the best of the Eielson Ravens on the gridiron, claiming a 40-6 victory Saturday.
Since 2012, the two Aurora Conference schools have had different levels of success. Eielson secured five state championships (2012, ’14, ’15, ’16, ’18), while Monroe had just two state playoff appearances (2012, ’13). The script was flipped Saturday, when Monroe defeated their powerhouse rival for the first time in program history.
“It is awesome,” Monroe senior Tommy Bast said after the game. “Coach [Kyle] Allison and Coach [Shaun] Conwell [Sr.] and the new coaching staff are just great, they’re really leading us in a good direction.”
Three passing touchdowns, two rushing scores and one historic win: That was the state line for the Rams' new quarterback Shaun Conwell, who has transformed Monroe’s offense since his arrival.
The Rams took control of the game early, as Conwell dumped a checkdown pass to senior Garren Nicholson, who took it himself to the end zone with the help of a few key blocks. Nicholson inflated Monroe’s lead later in the game with a rushing touchdown for his second score of the game.
Working on a two-minute drill before the half, Conwell flung a pass down the sideline to Bast, who turned on the jets to outrun the Ravens on his way to a score, making it a 26-0 nothing game after two quarters.
Junior Carter Barney snagged three interceptions, all in the first half, as the Ravens struggled to move the ball on offense.
Barney also caught a touchdown pass, while Bast added an interception as part of a flurry of turnovers forced by the Rams.
“I hope that we can bring Monroe its first state championship.” Bast added.
Eielson’s lone score came from Brandon Polesky, who scored a 25-yard touchdown late in the game. Despite the outcome on the scoreboard, many of the Ravens were just grateful to be out there, after they were sidelined for three weeks when the Fairbanks North Star Borough transitioned to the red zone.
“I came into the season thinking that first game, I thought everything was guaranteed,” said senior Evan Karrs. “As things went on, no contact during practice, it just taught me not to take it for granted and being able to hit people."
“We should cherish every moment we get here, this is high school we only got four years of this," added senior Will McManus. "I want to win games, I want to have a whole season, but my senior season I got to be thankful for all that I get and that’s what I’m doing.”
Monroe will look to carry this momentum into Saturday’s game at West Valley, with kick off set for 4 p.m. Eielson aims to get their first win of the season when they host Eielson on Saturday at noon.
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