SANDWICH —Dillon Chapman's season was almost over before it ever began.
The running back's sophomore season on the Monomoy High football team was nearly lost to injury when he broke his hand, his fourth metacarpal to be exact. just days before preseason practice began.
"I begged my doctor 'give me the best cast you could' and now I'm playing because of that," Chapman said.
The begging worked, because Chapman has been on the field this season for the Sharks. And he's been a key contributor.
On a cold, wet, and windy Saturday night, Chapman had his number called again and again as the Sharks battled to a 14-6 victory over St John Paul II. He repeatedly answered that call, accounting for every point scored by the Sharks in the win - two touchdown runs and a 2-point conversion - and did it all with two fingers still encased in a brace.
Chapman couldn't have picked a better time to score his second. He took a handoff and bounced left to find the end zone from nine yards out with 25 seconds remaining. That score broke a 6-6 tie, and was the winner for the Sharks.
It wasn't all smooth sailing for the sophomore. The primary running back faced a tough task in this game. He carried the load on a night without much contribution from the passing game, and like many others in the game, struggled to keep the ball in their hands.
He bounced back from a first-half fumble to account for all the offense on the night for the Sharks.
"His drive really helps drive the team," Monomoy coach Rob Sliney said. "I know he's young and he's not a captain, but he's set for that role later in life."
Chapman expects to retire his cast after this game, as the hand is nearly fully healed.
"I love this sport," Chapman said. "I play this and lacrosse, but this sport is my favorite. I've been playing it since I was 6. I couldn't miss this season."
Looking at the Monomoy sideline, it was clear how much this win meant to them. After losing to the Lions twice a season ago (22-6 and 56-26), Sliney made sure his team remembered those losses to help motivate them.
"I started off this week by papering their locker room with the scoreboard from the last time we played them," Sliney said, highlighting a 56-26 loss on Thanksgiving Eve. "So that was a little bit of fuel in the belly for these guys, and they showed me that they wanted to play, and they wanted to win."
For every last-second winner, there must be a loser. Despite the loss, Lions head coach Nick Christian, was proud of the effort he saw from his team in defeat.
"I see a team with a lot of heart that played to the very end," Christian said.
The Lions lone touchdown was scored by senior Jon Grygent, who broke loose to give the Lions an early 6-0 lead.
Monomoy improves to 3-1 on the season, and the Lions fall to 1-2. Next up for the Sharks is a matchup at Bourne on Friday. Saint John Paul II hosts Bristol-Plymouth on Saturday.
This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Monomoy High football team defeats Saint John Paul II with late TD