In the 40th Island Cup matchup, a tough Nantucket team proved too much for the Vineyarders. The Whalers wasted no time in jumping out to a 28-0 lead. The Vineyarders continued to display tremendous heart in the second half of play, scoring twice and playing hard until the clock hit zero but there was too much ground to make up.

Final score 47-20 in favor of Nantucket.

After falling behind early, Vineyarders kept at it. — Jeanna Shepard

Nantucket struck first on the opening drive. Facing a third and seven from their own 40 yard line, the Whalers quarterback Makai Bodden reared back and launched a bomb down the sideline to wide receiver Malique Bodden who then galloped the remaining 30 yards into the end zone.

On the Vineyarders opening drive they were unsuccessful in piercing through Nantucket’s seemingly impassible defensive line. They went three and out, and during the punt attempt the snap sailed over the kickers’s head and was recovered by the Vineyard on their three yard line.

Nantucket scored on their first play after the botched punt, then split the uprights for a second straight successful extra point attempt to make it 14-0 with eight minutes remaining in the first quarter.

A tough loss. — Jeanna Shepard

Nantucket then racked up two more touchdowns, a 51-yard scamper down the sideline by Devonte Usher and a QB sneak from Bodden before sophomore star running back Antone Moreis put the Vineyard on the board with a 70-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Moreis had his hand in all three Vineyard touchdowns. On the opening drive of the second half, on third and twelve, Vineyard junior quarterback Zach Smith rolled out to his left and under pressure spun a dime to Moreis in stride along the left sideline with nothing but green in front of him. The 40-yard touchdown pass from Smith made it 34-12 Nantucket. Moreis scored again late in the fourth quarter and completed a two-point conversion to bring about the final score of 47-20.

Coach Herman commended his team of mostly sophomores and juniors for not folding after falling behind big in the first half.

“Two seniors, I keep telling myself, two seniors,” Coach Herman said after the game. “So, we have a lot of upside. In the second half I was proud of the way they came out and played, they didn’t quit.”

Cheerleaders took the field at halftime. — Jeanna Shepard

“The way we started was disappointing,” he added. “We had a couple plays get away from us, and they’re a better football team. We knew they were going to be the fastest and most athletic team we’ll play all year.”

A bright spot in today’s action came from the Vineyard’s junior varsity team who played Nantucket’s JV squad to a stalemate until the last play of the game. With time expiring in the fourth quarter, the Vineyarders called a timeout and kicked a 27-yard field goal on the last play of the game to take a 3-0 lead and steal the victory.

“That was a great thing for them, exciting for them to win that way,” Coach Herman said. “Especially with the progress they’ve made following the injuries they suffered in their last game.”

Eliminated from playoff contention, the varsity team will now play three final games to close out their season. Coach Herman dubbed the final games “mystery weeks” because they will not know who they’re playing and if it will be home or away until Sunday afternoon of each of the next three weeks.

“I told them we have an opportunity in front of us to finish 7-3, and for a program that’s won five games in three years that would be quite the accomplishment, and that’s what we’re going to shoot for.”