WILLIAMSBURG - Twenty-three years. That's how long it's been since the Williamsburg football team opened the season with three straight wins.
So Blue Pirate fans were excited to go into Friday night's home matchup with Glendale with a 2-0 record. However, Williamsburg came out of the gate slow, trailing 7-6 to the 0-2 Vikings after the first quarter.
But the Blue Pirates turned up the heat in the second half behind the stellar play of their defense, creating nine turnovers, taking two interceptions back for touchdowns and allowing just 36 total yards in the final two periods.
When the final buzzer sounded, Williamsburg had a 41-7 victory over an Inter-County Conference division rival and the team sat on a historic 3-0 record.
"I feel really great for the kids," said Blue Pirates coach Bob Hearn, fresh from a celebratory Gatorade shower provided by his players. "They won those first two games and then came out here tonight and really rose to the challenge"
"I can't be more happy for the kids. This program really needed this shot in the arm."
The defensive effort was especially rewarding for a team that seems to thrive on that side of the ball.
"We had two defensive touchdowns, and that really swung the momentum towards us," said quarterback Austin McMonagle. "I don't know how many yards we gave up, but we played better defense this week than the last two."
McMonagle, a senior captain, was all over the field for Williamsburg. On the night, he threw a touchdown, ran for two touchdowns, returned a fourth quarter interception for a touchdown, kicked three extra points, threw for a two-point conversion, partially blocked two punts and recovered a fumble.
"I think he played real well," Hearn said. "They took away some of our outside game and we went with a zone read and he made the right decisions. And [junior running back] Mike Biddle just ran really well. Those two really stepped up big for us tonight."
Biddle led all rushers with 113 yards on 20 carries.
As one team's frustration ends, another team's frustration continues. Though Glendale had a few stretches of success in the first half, the team's offensive miscues eventually doomed them.
"We didn't execute in the second half," Vikings coach Matt Irvine said. "We gave up an interception for a touchdown ... we dropped the ball too many times. When it hits your hand, you've gotta catch it."
Managing just 148 total yards and turning the ball over frequently on offense, Irvine knows his team has hard work ahead.
"There's bright spots from this game, but execution is really what hurt us bad," he said.
The home team, however, was content to celebrate getting the monkey off their backs.
"I'm so excited, especially for the future," said McMonagle. "This hasn't happened since 1990, [that] we're 3-0. It's just an unbelievable feeling."
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Glendale.....................7 0 0 0 - 7
Williamsburg6 8 7 20 - 41
W-McMonagle 6 run (kick failed), 7:03.
G-Kimberly 5 run (Iraca kick), 1:03.
W-Young 34 pass from McMonagle (Morrissey pass from McMonagle), 5:30.
W-Young 65 interception return (McMonagle kick), 8:12.
W-McMonagle 3 run (McMonagle kick), 10:57.
W-McMonagle 20 interception return (kick failed), 5:58.
W-Morrissey 11 run (McMonagle kick), 4:51.
RUSHING: Glendale-Kimberly 12-48, Stewart 7-47, Iraca 6-(-2), Hewitt 1-0, Braniff 3-5, Kuhn 1-1, TEAM 1-(2). Williamsburg-McMonagle 16-78, Biddle 20-113, Morrissey 8-40, Cater 3-4, Hughes 1-0, TEAM 1-1.
PASSING: Glendale-Iraca 3-10-2-28, Braniff 4-10-1-18. Williamsburg-McMonagle 4-11-1-45.
RECEIVING: Glendale-Hewitt 1-18, O'Donnell 2-15, Kuhn 1-7, Potuschnig 3-6. Williamsburg-Young 2-40, Morrissey 2-5.
INTERCEPTIONS: Glendale- Hewitt. Williamsburg - Young, McMonagle, Sacolic.