Photo and story by Adrian Johnson
Monroe fans got an exciting game Friday when Monroe fell behind Arlington early in the first quarter, giving up a two-point safety, and then a field goal with one minute off the clock in the second quarter.
Down 5 -0, the Bearcat offense continued to stall. Arlington took advantage and increased their lead when senior running back Jared Alskog took the ball from the Eagles 20-yard line and ran 80 yards to increase their lead to 12 – 0. The two-point conversion failed, but from the Bearcats point of view, the game was dangerously close to getting out of hand.
But following the kickoff, the Bearcat offense mustered together a four-play, 65-yard drive capped by an eight-yard touchdown run by Monroe senior running back Gabe Moore. Tanner Ohlsen added the point after. The half closed with the score Arlington 12, Monroe 7.
The third quarter was uneventful as neither team’s offense could move the ball.
Then, early in the fourth quarter and pinned deep on their own eight-yard line, the Eagles fumbled, giving the Bearcats the break they needed.
Two plays later quarterback Andrew Zimmerman rolled to his right and hit Chase DiMonda for a seven-yard touchdown. The two-point attempt failed but the Bearcats had their first lead of the game, 13 – 12.
Following the kick-off Arlington drove the ball to the Bearcats nine-yard line before their offense stalled and they settled for a 26-yard field goal to retake the lead, 15 – 13.
On the ensuing possession, the Bearcat offense stalled again and it appeared that the Eagles would have the upper hand. Facing a fourth down and with eight yards to go, Zimmerman rose to the occasion again and connected with Shanden Mixaphone for 38 yards and a first down.
On second down and 10, Zimmerman connected with senior wide receiver Robbie Schab on the one-yard line for a 29-yard gain.
Coach Abrams called time out and strategically called two quarterback sneak plays, instructing Zimmerman not to score in order to keep the game clock running. Finally, with one minute left on the clock, Zimmerman scored the final points of the game on a quarterback sneak.
Zimmerman finished the game 4-for-8 for 95 yards and a touchdown, with three of those completions coming on key plays in the final quarter.
After the kick-off Arlington moved down the field and looked as if they would close out the game with another score but Monroe’s Gabe Moore intercepted Arlington quarterback Cam in the end zone to seal the victory for the Bearcats.
The win put the Bearcats in a position to capture a share of the WESCO 4A North Championship should they prevail over Mount Vernon next week.