WINTHROP — With nearly 60 players on its roster, the newly-formed Winthrop/Monmouth co-operative football team will be one to reckon with in Class D this season.
That depth paid off Saturday as the Ramblers wore down Lisbon in the second half and came away with a 14-8 victory in the season opener for both teams. The significance of the win wasn’t lost on the Monmouth team members who had played a club-level schedule the past few seasons.
“It’s amazing,” said safety Brandon Goff, who intercepted two passes. “It’s like nothing else I’ve ever felt. It’s that family feeling of everyone coming together.”
The Ramblers suited 53 for the game, which was postponed from Friday night because the lights didn’t work. After a scoreless first half, Dom Cognata scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter and Phil Rowe on another plunge from the 1 in the fourth quarter.
“Sixty kids makes a huge difference,” Goff said. “If someone gets tired or someone gets cramped we have someone behind him just as good, ready to go.”
The Greyhounds cut the lead to 12-8 with just over three minutes left on Joe Philbrick’s dive from the 1 and Jordan Torres’ two-point conversion, but Winthrop/Monmouth sealed its win with a safety in the final minute.
Rowe and Cognata carried the ball when Zach Glazier went to the sidelines for a breather. The senior running back, who missed most of last season with a back injury, carried the ball 31 times for 138 yards, many of those coming after he was hit.
“Now that I’m back I’m just focusing on offense,” Glazier said. “I can’t play D, but I feel good on offense, it was just that my calf cramped today. I’m ready to go.”
The Ramblers defense did a nice job bottling up the dangerous Quincy Thompson who lined up in the backfield, the slot and at times in the shotgun at quarterback. He finished with 66 yards on 16 carries and threw a crucial interception inside the 10-yard line.
“We knew we couldn’t stop him one on one,” Winthrop coach Joel Stoneton said. “So we took away the weapons that allow him to be good.”
Torres, a 5-foot-5, 140-pound speedster, took up some of the slack for Lisbon, finishing with 53 yards on seven carries. But it wasn’t enough to overcome several crucial penalties.
“Penalty after penalty,” Lisbon coach Dick Mynahan said. “We didn’t run any offense. We had our backs to the wall the whole game.”
The Ramblers came up with some big plays on defense. In addition to Goff’s two interceptions, big Cole Arsenault tackled Lisbon quarterback Kyle Bourget for a safety and senior linebacker Nate Bowers made several tackles, including two on Thompson and Torres for losses of seven and four yards.
“He’s been in and out of the program the last couple of years,” Stoneton said of Bowers. “He made a commitment last spring that he wanted to be in the program. He played very well.”
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638