EAST SANDWICH — Sandwich senior quarterback Cam Lopes has been working toward a game like this ever since he suffered a broken hand during the preseason.

Lopes rushed for 174 yards and three touchdowns and threw for three additional scores as the Blue Knights wrapped up their regular season with a 49-28 win over the Monomoy Sharks on Friday at DeConto Stadium.

Sandwich (3-6) goes for a four-game winning streak at Mashpee on Thanksgiving. Monomoy (4-6) will host St. John Paul II.

 

“The offensive line, they’ve really been pulling together the last couple games to give me time, and you can’t ask for more,” Lopes said. “We feel good going in against Mashpee, and can’t wait to see what we can do.”

Sandwich’s defense struggled throughout the first half, giving up touchdowns on Monomoy’s first three drives despite the Sharks starting at their 25-yard line or farther back each time. The Blue Knights needed to defend Mark Pawlina’s throw to the end zone on the last play of the half just to preserve their 28-20 lead.

But the Blue Knights opened the third with a three-and-out, as Jake Campbell tackled Isaac Hart for a 5-yard loss on first down. Lopes capitalized two plays after the punt, bursting 65 yards for a touchdown that made it 35-20 with 7:34 left in the third.

The next two drives effectively decided the game. Pawlina (14-for-23, 182 yards, 103 rushing yards) brought the Sharks to the Sandwich 3-yard line with a 56-yard completion, but his next two passes fell incomplete, and Charlie Chapman tackled him for no gain on third down.

Pawlina handed off to Hart (11 carries, 123 yards, three TDs) on fourth down, but Sandwich’s defense tackled him in the backfield. The Blue Knights took over on downs, went 96 yards on 10 plays and scored on Lopes’ 4-yard keeper to go up 42-20 with 9:41 left in the fourth.

Another hold on fourth down led to backup QB Brady Campbell’s 21-yard touchdown. Hart, who finished with over 200 all-purpose yards, could only get one touchdown back on a 58-yard sprint before time ran out on a comeback.

“I’ve been waiting for our defense to step up to the plate,” said Sandwich coach Matt MacLean. “We got together at halftime, and that’s all we were focused on.”

Sandwich and Monomoy traded touchdowns to start the game. Lopes hit Chapman for a 24-yard score to open the game, but Hart ran in a 3-yarder to tie it 6-6 on the first play of the second quarter.

Lopes got it again to Chapman for a touchdown, this time a 10-yard pass, but Pawlina broke off a 64-yard touchdown to force the tie again at 14-14. Lopes floated a 35-yard touchdown to C.J. Wiper, only to have Hart answer with a 27-yard TD run.

Hart’s score didn’t tie the game, however, as Wiper batted away Pawlina’s attempted two-point pass in the end zone. Lopes needed only about 30 seconds to go 63 yards, picking up 27 on his run to the end zone that put Sandwich ahead 28-20.

“We knew our offense was going to be there,” MacLean said. “We made the right adjustments at halftime, and that’s what really gave us that edge.”