The Vineyarders won the Island Cup for the second year in a row, with a dynamic 24-21 win over the Whalers. The boys and girls soccer teams were also victorious Saturday, each winning an inaugural Golden Anchor trophy.

Down 21-7 halfway through the third quarter, the Vineyarders came back by scoring 17 unanswered points with two receiving touchdowns caught by Wyatt Nicholson. The first score came from his brother and quarterback, William Nicholson, and the second on a halfback pass by Guilherme Oliveira.

Needing a two-point conversion to tie the game after the successful trick play, the Vineyard’s offensive line busted open Nantucket’s defense and Oliveira ran in for two with just over five minutes left in the fourth.

Fans and players storm the field in excitement as the Island Cup is retained, — Jonathan Fleischmann

Victor DeSouza, an offensive lineman, then booted the ensuing kickoff out the back of Nantucket’s endzone for a touchback. The Whalers drove the ball to the Vineyard’s 46 and faced a fourth and five with just under two minutes remaining. Instead of punting, they opted to run a jet sweep that the Vineyard defense snuffed out for a three-yard loss and a turnover on downs.

With the ball back and momentum swinging in their favor, the Vineyard offense was clicking until Nantucket intercepted a screen pass and suddenly had another chance to win the game.

As the clock ticked down in the final minute, Nantucket’s quarterback tossed up a prayer that Oliveira intercepted, and the Vineyarders were back in control of their destiny.

With 44 seconds left and the ball in Nantucket territory, Oliveira broke free for a big run into the red zone. After two more Vineyard runs DeSouza attempted a 32-yard field goal with seven seconds left.

Cheerleaders and fans urge the team on.

His first attempt was good but Nantucket called a timeout before the snap. The second attempt was also good, but the Vineyard was called for a penalty. Then, finally, from 37 yards out, DeSouza boomed his best kick straight through the uprights. No flags and Vineyard wins.

“I lined up the first time and said to myself, alright this is it, practice how you play,” DeSouza said.

But even with only a month’s worth of practice kicking field goals, the junior wasn’t rattled when he was called on twice more to win it.

“If I do it once and then I do it twice, I might as well have to do it a third time. It was awesome,” he said.

With the win, the Vineyard also won the Cape and Islands league title. — Jonathan Fleischmann

The Vineyarders displayed the type of no-quit, leave it all on the field determination needed to win what started as a rough game. Martha's Vineyard’s first punt attempt was blocked and returned for a touchdown. Nantucket also recovered a fumble for a touchdown in the third quarter to keep a two-score lead. The Vineyarders could have easily folded after the turnovers piled up and things looked bleak. But Coach Tony Mortolla knew that giving up was not in his team’s nature.

“Unbelievable high school football game,” the head coach said.

“The past four weeks, we’ve challenged them at practice trying to build mental and physical toughness and resiliency,” Coach Mortolla continued. “We’ve won some games late this year where the kids have shown it but to come back from 21-7 in hostile territory, the kids never thought we were going to lose this game.... They just didn’t give up and they really had some Vineyard pride. They played tough tonight.”

For seniors Chase Grant and Aiden Conley finishing their high school football careers with a win on Nantucket meant everything.

Island turns out when the teams returned Saturday night to cheer them on. — Jonathan Fleischmann

“It felt great. They had us in the beginning, it was not going our way at all but it was unreal how we turned it around,” said Grant, the defensive lineman who helped hold Nantucket’s offense to one first down until halfway through the third quarter.

“It feels amazing, there’s no feeling like it,” Conley said, who was equally as important on defense as he was on offense.

This was the 43rd meeting between the Vineyard and Nantucket for the Island Cup and the Vineyard now holds a 22-21 lead in the series. With the win, the Vineyarders also took home the Cape and Islands league lighthouse division title.

The day’s excitement began hours before the Island Cup though, as the boys and girls soccer teams, along with field hockey, all squared off with the Whalers for the rights to take home a Golden Anchor for the first Battle in the Atlantic series.

Boys soccer team won 2-0 to earn a Golden Anchor trophy. — Jonathan Fleischmann

The boys soccer team got things started with a 2-0 win that punched their ticket to the playoffs. Tied nil-nil at half, the boys battled back and forth with their rivals and eventually took the lead on a Porter Moehnke strike from just outside the box.

“That’s been my sweet spot,” said Moehnke, the senior captain. “I saw the gap, hit it with my left foot and snuck it in the corner.”

Not too long after Moehnke’s goal the Whalers almost evened the score when the Vineyard keeper came out of the box to make a play on the ball and missed. The Nantucket striker booted a shot on net but Caleb Dubin made an incredible header save to preserve the Vineyard’s advantage.

“That’s Jedi master Caleb Dubin,” said Vineyard head coach John Walsh. “He’s actually made the save a few times this year. He’s a really intelligent player and he hustles. It takes both.”

Field hockey team was defeated 6-0. — Jonathan Fleischmann

Later Josh Pereira sank the dagger for the Vineyarders with a rocket at close range to bring about the final score and secure the golden anchor.

In between the two soccer matches, on another field, the Nantucket field hockey team netted the Whalers’ only win of the day 6-0 in a very physical match. They’ll hold the Golden Anchor until next fall when it will be up for grabs again on the Vineyard.

In the girls soccer match, senior captain Elena Giordano scored a hat trick as the Vineyarders toppled Nantucket 4-1. Emily Coogan opened up the scoring for Martha's Vineyard shortly after the first whistle, then the Whalers briefly tied it before Giordano regained the lead for the Vineyard and tacked on two more scores for good measure.

The Vineyarders were dominant, playing their style of soccer. They possessed the ball for the majority of the contest, created turnovers that led to great looks on net and used their speed and quick passing to work their way around Nantucket’s defense.

Girls soccer celebrates 4-1 Golden Anchor win. — Jonathan Fleischmann

“We kept our energy level high and didn’t want Nantucket to have room to breathe,” said Vineyard head coach Matt Malowski. “We tried to keep the press on them the whole time and cause those turnovers.”

Senior captain and goalkeeper Georgia Magden said the win over Nantucket is even sweeter now with a piece of hardware to take home with them.

“It’s really nice to have this cap off our season and a really nice way to end our last big rivalry game. This is great to ride into the postseason,” she said.

The girls have one more game before the playoff brackets are announced for the boys and girls soccer tournaments.