It was cold on Halloween night, with temperatures dipping below freezing and darkness closing in before kickoff. There weren’t many in attendance at the Vineyard football team’s home game against Bourne.

But the hardy few who were there saw a bit of Vineyard history when junior Jacob Cardoza broke Albie Robinson’s 22-year-old single season record for receiving yards. In 1992, Robinson closed his season with 576 yards. Cardoza picked up 106 receiving yards against Bourne, moving to 610 on the season. He now has 723; the record has shattered.

Jacob Cardoza outpaces Bourne for another touchdown; he recently broke Albie Robinson's 1992 record for most receiving yards. — Ivy Ashe

When Cardoza caught his record-breaking pass in the Bourne game, the guy who threw it, in his own words, “freaked out.” That would be senior quarterback Mike Mussell, who has been on the other end of all but one of Cardoza’s receptions. In the previous week’s game, they connected on an 85-yard touchdown pass, a school record.

Mussell himself is two touchdown passes short of tying another 1992 record — Jason Dyer’s 23 touchdown passes — and needs just 48 passing yards to take the top spot for single-season passing yards.

They make a formidable combination: Mussell’s strong arm matched with Cardoza’s athleticism and speed off the line of scrimmage.

Over the course of a conversation with the two, it becomes evident how much respect they have for each other as players. It was Mussell who first told Cardoza that he was on track to break Robinson’s record. “Then the next two games he got 300 yards combined,” Mussell said.

Asked about the shift away from the run game this year, Cardoza noted that the Vineyard has “never really been a passing offense. Besides Mikey, because he’s a beast.”

Quarterback Mike Mussell makes a pass against Brighton. — Ivy Ashe

Cardoza started playing football in 6th grade; Mussell began in 7th grade. They are both three-year starters on the varsity squad, and had to adapt early to the faster pace of the game. But they’re both baseball players first and foremost, making the football success stand out all the more.

Mussell saw a bit of varsity time as a freshman, playing safety, and became a starter as a sophomore, the year he became backup quarterback. He started four games at quarterback as a junior before a fractured thumb ended his season.

Cardoza hadn’t even finished up the first month of his freshman year at the high school when he jumped from junior varsity to the varsity team. Injuries were wreaking havoc on the squad, and a senior safety had broken his collarbone. Cardoza got called up.

It is uncommon to bring up a freshman, head coach Donald Herman said, estimating that prior to Cardoza’s jump the last time it happened was in 1994.

“It’s needs-based,” Coach Herman said. “And if they’re able to handle it, we keep them.”

Cardoza handled it. Ultimately, the early call helped his overall game, particularly in his receiver role. He is still a force at safety, with 18 solo tackles and 47 assists this year.

“Playing with the older guys was definitely a big help,” he said.

Last year Mussell, as a junior quarterback, found that he too had to rise to the occasion.

“You’re kind of like a captain, even though you don’t have the captain title,” he said. “You still have to be a leader.” After he fractured his thumb, he played one game as split end, but then was sidelined. Mussell said he initially was unsure what to do to help his team.

“From a leadership standpoint, I thought my season was over,” he said. “But then I realized I can still contribute and I can work with Tony [Breth, who stepped in] the whole season to get him ready, so I still felt like a big part of the team.”

Still, it was a welcome change to be injury-free at the start of this season. With overall numbers down this year, the Vineyard needed all the healthy players it could get.

This year’s team, Mussell said, is a resilient one. “We started out 0 and 4, and then we were 1 and 5. We were in a lot of those games, and we didn’t get down on ourselves.”

The team now has a 5 and 5 record, and the focus is on Saturday.

“We’re just going to give it our all,” Mussell said.

Both Cardoza and Mussell know what it’s like to play Nantucket before a home crowd, and their experience will be a boon to the Vineyard team. They smiled as they remembered that last home Island Cup match, when the Vineyard won in the final seconds. It was awesome, they said. Close, intense. The best game.

“For me, I was a freshman starting defense,” Cardoza said. “I had a lot of weight on my shoulders, I guess. I just tried to think of it as a regular game.”

“You don’t want to go in thinking you have to do too much,” Mussell said. “You just want to think of it as another game. Do your job, execute, and then the rest will take care of itself.

“There’s no better place than Martha’s Vineyard to play football this time of year,” he said.

An earlier version of this story reported that Mike Mussell played one game at safety after injuring his thumb. Mussell played at split end.