On a windy Halloween day on Nantucket, the Whalers cruised to a 27-7 victory against the Vineyarders to retain possession of the Island Cup.

The Vineyarders opened the 41st confrontation with a spark, drawing first blood with a touchdown run by senior Hiaggo Goncalves. A successful extra point put the Vineyarders up 7-0.

But the lead did not last long.

Nantucket quickly answered with a pass to senior Justin Bloise for a 50-yard touchdown and extra point to tie the game at 7-7 with 6:55 left in the first quarter. After that the Vineyarders couldn’t get their stride back despite multiple penalties against Nantucket.

Vineyard defense had their hands full in Nantucket. — Paul Bagnall

In the second quarter the Vineyard fumbled the ball and Nantucket capitalized on the turnover when quarterback Makai Bodden ran the ball for a 47-yard touchdown. Nantucket threatened to score again before the half ended but Gabe Brito grabbed an interception in the end zone.

Nantucket opened the second half with a 10-yard run by senior Caiden Shea at 5:45 in the third quarter. The Vineyard offense had no answer for the fierce Whaler defense which shut down their running game.

In the fourth quarter Nantucket went to the air again, with Bodden firing off a 23-yard touchdown pass to put the game out of reach.

“I call [Nantucket] the four-headed monster,” Coach Don Herman said. “They had four players we couldn’t really account for, and that hurt us.”

“I am disappointed that we didn’t win the ball game,” he continued. “That’s the ultimate goal. But I am really pleased with how well we played the game. I think our kids gave a tremendous effort.”

There was no JV game for the first time this year, but the middle school football team, which features nearly 35 players, competed against Whalers. Nantucket struck early and often building up a 20-0 lead, but the Vineyard refused to get shut out when Chris Cardoza ran half the field for a touchdown, with Syius Rivera scoring the two-point conversion to end the game at 26-8.

“We overcame some adversity, we’ve lost some players this week to injuries so we had [our players] step up and play some positions they aren’t used to playing,” said Coach Tim Millerick.

“I’m looking forward to seeing this eighth-grade class move on to high school next year,” Coach Millerick added.

Both boys and girls soccer teams lost as well to Nantucket on Sunday. Stopping an island sweep was the Vineyard field hockey team, which notched the lone victory on the day.

There are three more games left in the Vineyard football season, or what Coach Herman refers to as their “mystery weeks.” The Vineyard will find out who they play later today, and they will find out on Sunday who they play later the following week.

“Today was a draining game, a physical game, so we have to be able to bounce back, and whoever we play this upcoming week do the best job we can preparing our kids to play a game,” Coach Herman said.