Trophy in tow, the
Vineyarders were greeted at ferry with fire trucks and
cheering crowd. -
Self-discipline and calm under pressure paid off Saturday
when the Vineyarders emerged victorious over Nantucket for
the twelfth time in a row in the storied Island Cup rivalry.
Whalers and Vineyarders
well well-matched in annual rivalry game. —Maria
The 7-0 final score was
decided early in the game by Vineyard running back Ben
Clark’s touchdown and tight end James Sashin’s extra point.
Despite strong drives by both teams throughout the game and
a missed field goal attempt by the Vineyard, by late
afternoon at the Vito Capizzo field on Nantucket, the
shutout for the Vineyard was preserved. And Coach Donald
Herman, who is retiring after 28 years, racked up one final
Before the game the legendary
Vineyard coach took the field with his wife Pam, daughter
Gail, son Eric and daughter in-law Yasmin and to receive a
commendation from State Rep. Tim Madden for his
accomplishments through the years. Those include an overall
220-90, and five state Super Bowl victories. Saturday’s game
was his last.
The long-running Island
rivalry was evident from the start when the Whalers charged
the field and planted three large flags — including a U.S.
flag and a pirate flag — near the end zone where the
Vinyarders were warming up. Coach Herman and his assistants
rushed across the field and put themselves between the two
teams to diffuse the situation.
after Elijah Matthews' interception seals the win. —Maria
Then just after 1:30 p.m. the
Whalers won the coin toss and kicked off under a clear blue
sky. A large U.S. flag hoisted on the ladder of a Nantucket
fire engine snapped in a steady northeast wind. The
bleachers at the high school field were filled near to
Ben Clark was the standout of
the day with his first quarter touchdown, taking advantage
of Nantucket’s setback early in the quarter from a string of
personal fouls. The Vineyard received only two penalties
during the game.
Vineyard running back Jacob
Cardoza gained significant yardage during the game but was
unable to score; one advance into the end zone was negated
by a holding foul early in the fourth quarter.
The Vineyard’s only field goal
attempt came at the end of the second quarter but sailed
just downwind of the left goal post. But each team put up a
Island Cup winners once
“The overall effort by both
sides was amazing,” assistant coach Tom Keller said after
the game. “It’s amazing to me how much they get excited and
care. It could have backfired and gotten crazy. . . . Mostly
I’ll say it was a clean game.”
Both teams pushed hard in the
second half, eager to break the narrow lead. In the final
quarter, the Vineyarders inched their way downfield to the
12-yard line, only to be pushed back to the 39-yard line on
the other side. With 19 seconds left in the game, the
Whalers had the ball, but Vineyarder Elijah Matthews
intercepted a pass to regain possession. The Vineyarders
were at the 15-yard line when the clock ran out and it was
their team’s turn to rush the field.
After congratulations, Coach
Herman braced himself for the obligatory water-cooler dump
and continued celebrating in the crisp November air. Some
fans held enormous cardboard cutouts of his face which
bobbed around on the field.
“One hell of a game,” the
veteran coach said to his team, which had gathered on the
turf with their trophy, surrounded by friends, family and
mentors. “You guys played your asses off.”
After one final cheer,
teammates and others lingered on the field to savor the win.
A hero's welcome. —Mark
“Going into this game we
always know it’s going to be chippy,” said Cardoza. Prior to
the game, he said, the coach’s advice was simply to “play
your hardest and be disciplined. And that’s what we did, and
we came out with only one personal foul.”
On the return ferry to the
Vineyard, Coach Herman and the team were greeted by applause
and cheering when they appeared on the passenger deck. With
his family, students and friends, he enjoyed one last trip
as head coach aboard the ferry. It was his 27th Island Cup.
As the ferry approached
Vineyard Haven, the vehicle deck filled with cheering and
honking. Per tradition, a large crowd gathered at the dock
to welcome the team home. Fire trucks, rescue vehicles and
police cars from around the Island blared sirens and flashed
lights when the team emerged from the ferry in their purple
varsity jackets, trophy held high.
Vineyard Regional High School varsity football team
defeated Norwell 28-14 at Norwell High School on Friday
night in the team’s last game before the Island Cup on
Saturday, Nov. 21 on Nantucket.
Senior Jacob Cardoza
scored two touchdowns, and senior Ben Clark and sophomoreZach
Moreis each scored one.Senior
Austin Chandler had a 2 point conversion rush, and junior
James Sashin scored two extra points.
The team totaled 386 yards
of offense, with 375 of those rushing. “It was a very good
win, the fact that we’re able to stay healthy is great,”
Coach Don Herman said.
“Defensively, we played
very well,” he said. Norwell’s touchdowns came on the
third play of the game, and after a fumble recovery in the
“We’re excited,” Coach
Herman said. “One more big one.”
Ben Clark scored a pair of touchdowns and the
Vineyarders defense blanked the Vikings in the final
home game for head coach Donald Herman in Oak Bluffs.
Clark, a senior, ran in identical 1-yard touchdown
scores in the second and third quarters to help Martha’s
Vineyard improve to 5-4 in Herman’s 27th and final
season with the Vineyarders. The Vineyard squad travels
to Norwell next Friday for their final non-playoff game
before traveling to Nantucket the following Friday for
the Annual Island Cup.
Senior Jacob Cardoza got Herman and his Vineyard squad
going with a 4-yard touchdown run in the opening
quarter. Senior Austin Chandler added a two-point
conversion rush after Clark’s first score as Martha’s
Vineyard led 14-0 at halftime.
Senior Andy DiMattia and junior Luke DeBettencourt led
the defense in the shutout with 10 tackles each, with
DiMattia coming away with a quarterback sack.
Cardoza added a pair of interceptions on the game while
running for 70 yards on offense.
Game 8 (Friday, October 30, 2015)
By Cape Cod Times
After putting up 95 points in their last two games at
home, Fairhaven struggled out of the gate against Martha’s
Vineyard and fell 26-18 on Friday.
(4-4) stifled the Blue Devils offense and kept them off
the board until the early in the third quarter. The
defense kept Fairhaven from completing a first down until
the closing seconds of the first half. Between and iron
curtain of a defense, and a strong run game, Martha’s
Vineyard built a 20-0 lead going into the half.
On the third
play of the game, Jacob Cardoza was able to pick off Ian
Furtado and left the Vineyarders starting out on
Fairhaven’s 38 yard line. Seven running plays later,
Cardoza found the back of the end zone on a six yard run.
Vineyard was able to pound the ball into the end zone
again, focusing on the running game on a 9 play drive that
overcame a holding penalty and covered 61 yards. Cardoza
capped the drive off with a one yard touchdown run to
close out the first quarter with six seconds remaining.
enjoyed the first half,” Martha’s Vineyard Head Coach
Donald Herman said. “We had position and we were in total
through in the third quarter, and didn’t slow down. After
being forced to punt, Tyler Mello picked up the fumble by
Martha’s Vineyard and returned it for a 62 yard touchdown,
and that got the Blue Devils into the game. On the
following two Martha’s Vineyard possession, the Blue
Devils forced two more fumbles which resulted in another
Fairhaven touchdown by Ian Furtado on a 3 yard quarterback
sneak with 1:57 remaining in the third quarter. Heading
into the fourth Fairhaven trailed 20-12.
able to score with 7:48 left in the fourth quarter and
brought the score to 20-18, with Ian Furtado leading the
way going 5-for-7 passing, including a 12 yard touchdown
reception by John Bulgar.
Any hopes of a
dramatic second half comeback, were quickly put to rest
with a 95 yard kickoff return by Cardoza.
everything was going against us, and we were going against
the tide. We made a big play when we really needed to,”
Herman said. “That was huge. You have adversity, you have
to find a way to overcome it and we did. This was a good
win for us. That is something we can address and be
Game 7 (Friday, October 23, 2015)
By Cape Cod Times
ran in a pair of scores to lead the Raiders over the
Vineyarders at Hanson Memorial Field in Somerset.
of 20 and 26 yards in the third and fourth quarters helped
Somerset Berkley improve to 4-2, 3-1 in the Eastern
Chandler hauled in a 10-yard pass from junior quarterback
Tucker McNeely in the fourth quarter to close Martha’s
Vineyard (3-4, 1-3 EAC) to within 20-10. Junior James
Sashin knocked home the extra-point after hitting for a
32-yard field goal in the second quarter to cut the
Raiders’ lead to 6-3.
Cardoza ran for 81 yards on 13 carries. Senior Ben Clark
had 12 tackles on defense.
12-yard touchdown run gave the Raiders a 6-0 lead in the
Game 6 (Friday, October 16, 2015)
Vineyard rolls over Brighton Bengals, 49-6, in homecoming
Daniel G. McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs Friday night, Donald
Herman, the Island’s mustachioed Hall of Fame coach, stepped
onto his field before a packed homecoming crowd that was
there to send off their coach in what might have been his
last home-field appearance in a 28-year career that included
eight Massachusetts Super Bowl appearances, five Super Bowl
wins, two perfect seasons, and the graduations of three
generations of gritty and proud Martha’s Vineyard men.
His team responded, and
ended a two-game losing streak Friday night with a 49-6 rout
of the Brighton High School Bengals in MIAA interconference
Expectations for Friday
night’s game were low. To many, the season was over. But
Friday night’s homecoming game against Brighton High School
provided an opportunity for the community to show up for the
coach who had dedicated a large chunk of his life to showing
up for them.
At kickoff the team, which
only days before had been told by Coach Herman they were not
working hard enough, was boiling inside, and was ready to
send a message to the rest of the Eastern Athletic
Conference that Martha’s Vineyard would not go quietly into
Sitting in the stands, team
captain Ted DeBettencourt (’02) spoke approvingly of Coach
Herman and his straight talk to the team days earlier.
“Coach knows how to read
kids,” he said. “He knows what motivates them.”
Captain Glenn Gaskell (’03),
a center on the 2002 Mayflower Championship team, added,
“Yeah, it’s how he motivates.”
Nodding in agreement, Mr.
DeBettencourt explained his own experience with Herman
motivation: After being kicked off the team his sophomore
year for breaking team rules, he returned as a junior and
went on to earn a spot as a captain his senior year. Before
heading over to the rest of the seated alumni, he flashed
his two championship rings and grinned with purple pride.
Just back from a
team-imposed suspension, Jacob Cardoza received the ball to
start off, but a broken flea-flicker play from junior James
Sashin sailed over the senior tailback’s head by 10 yards.
Coach Herman gritted his teeth in frustration and gave
Cardoza the ball again. This time a hole opened up, and he
broke out for an 11-yard gain and a first down to keep the
drive alive. Forty yards later, Cardoza again popped outside
for 17 yards to set up senior fullback Ben Clark on the
Bengal one-yard line. And in just under 3:30, Clark punched
in a definitive opening-drive touchdown.
Ten seconds into the second
quarter, the homecoming crowd erupted when Jacob Cardoza
broke out for another 20-yard run into the end zone. The
scoreboard quickly flickered to 15-0 with the first of James
Sashin’s five extra points. Three more touchdowns would come
in quick succession — two from Ben Clark and another from
senior Austin Chandler — as the Vineyard tallied a 36-6
lead. Coach Herman couldn’t have looked more pleased. Asked
what his game plan was for the second half, he smiled the
length of the field and said, “Some more of the first!”
Following a halftime tribute
to Coach Herman orchestrated by the MV Touchdown Club, the
team got back to work.
The Bengals tried to muster
some momentum coming out of the half, but an early touchdown
from senior back Curtis Farrell, who ended the game
averaging 12.4 yards on seven carries, took the final fight
out of the orange and black. The defense didn’t waver for a
single play, held the Bengals to only 133 yards and seven
first downs, and capped off the shutdown performance with a
late third-quarter interception by junior defensive back
Ennis Foster. The Vineyard show was punctuated by a one-yard
touchdown from senior running back Justin Donahue, who
finished the day with 41 yards on 10 carries.
By the end of the game, the
Vineyard had stitched together a whopping 459 yards of total
offense. Jacob Cardoza finished with 91 yards on the ground,
Ben Clark amassed 72 total yards from the fullback position,
and the leading rusher for the day, Austin Chandler, put up
109 yards, leaving senior quarterback Tucker McNeely with
only one thing left to do: Take a knee.
The final score was 49-6,
and the Vineyard’s playoff hopes are still alive as they
begin preparations for Friday’s road trip to their final
conference game against Somerset Berkley. A win next Friday
with a loss from Bishop Stang could mean that Coach Herman’s
retirement will have to wait just a little bit longer.
Game 5 (Friday, October 9, 2015)
Game 4 (Sunday, October 4, 2015)
Vineyard loses 3-0 to rivals Bishop Feehan on a field goal
Bishop Feehan beat the
Martha’s Vineyard varsity football team 3-0 Sunday afternoon
in an Eastern Athletic Conference (EAC) football game
postponed from Friday night due to weather. Both defenses
played outstanding games, and kept the opposing offenses
frustrated while at the same time forcing turnovers and
The Vineyard struggled on
offense, and was held without a first down until 5:30 left
in the second quarter. Bishop Feehan had some early success
with its running game, but the Vineyard defense stayed
strong and refused to give up a big play.
Late in the first half,
Feehan’s Joshua Cayer kicked what would prove to be the
game-winning 26-yard field goal. Not that the Vineyarders
did not have a chance to go ahead: With 2:20 left in the
fourth quarter, Zach Moreis tackled Feehan quarterback
Matthew Everton and forced a fumble, giving Martha’s
Vineyard the ball near midfield. Feehan quickly took the
ball back, though, when Benjamin Goslin stepped in front of
Jacob Cardoza to intercept a pass. The Shamrocks then got a
first down and ran out the clock, ending the game.
Linebacker Austin Chandler,
in his first game back from injury, led the stellar Vineyard
defense with 15 tackles. Ben Clark and Zach Moreis each
recovered a fumble, while Jacob Cardoza nabbed an
The Vineyard is now 2-2
overall, and 1-1 in the EAC. They play next at Bishop Stang
on Friday night.
Game 3 (Friday, September 25, 2015)
COYLE & CASSIDY
Vineyarders beat Coyle and Cassidy, 28-21 under Friday night
The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) football
team advanced to 2-1 on the 2015 season with a 28-21
victory over Coyle Cassidy High School in an Eastern
Athletic Conference (EAC) tilt Friday night at Dan
McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs.
Vineyarders offense was led by two touchdown runs from
senior captain Ben Clark, another from senior standout
Curtis Farrell. A blocked punt by sophomore Zach Moreis
was returned for a touchdown by junior defensive standout
Elijah Matthews in an exciting game featuring outstanding
athletic plays from both teams. James Sashin converted
four point-after touchdown kicks for the Vineyarders.
Offensively, The Vineyarders were led by Jacob Cardoza’s
167 rushing yards. Ben Clark contributed TD runs of 7 and
18 yards, the last on an intelligently-played change of
direction run and a 43-yard bolt by Curtis Farrell. The
Vineyarders also had two TDs, including a 50-yard pass
play, called back for penalties.
quarterback Tucker McNeely was 4 for 9 passing for 55
yards, including three completions in key situations to
Jacob Cardoza, Ben Clark and junior wideout James Sashin.
third game of the season, the Vineyarders revealed
themselves to be extraordinarily talented on offense,
defense and on special teams/kicking. However a propensity
to turn the ball over and to incur unnecessary penalties
at critical times occasioned much head-holding in the
that could have been a runaway win became a nail-biter as
the result of several Vineyarders turnovers and
unnecessary penalties.That the Vineyarders were able to
overcome their mistakes against a solid Coyle Cassidy team
team, unlike their season opener 20-15 loss to Carver High
School, indicates that the team is jelling around its
talent and will be a force in the EAC.
example, Jacob Cardoza had more than 100 all-purpose yards
by halftime and the team has been without his tandem
running back Austin Chandler, who returns this week from
to be more disciplined,” Vineyarders coach Don Herman said
on Monday. “We could be 3-0 but we’re not. This week we
face Bishop Feehan, a senior dominant team and probably
the top team we’ll face all year.”
said he would emphasize disciplined play this week to
reduce personal foul penalties, but he noted that facemask
penalties incurred Friday night were the result of
reaching for the ball carrier, rather than personal fouls.
evening began with the singing of the national anthem by
senior Darby Patterson, a member of the Minnesinger
chorus, and a tribute to 2009 MVRHS graduate and U.S.
Marine Ben Ferry.
Vineyarders began the night with stout defense forcing a
three and out. After the Vineyarders' offense stalled,
Coyle Cassidy moved down the field before stopped on
fourth and one in the red zone, courtesy of a Lucas
point, both teams realized that running the middle wasn’t
working and Curtis Farrell scored on the Vineyarders' next
possession on a 43-yard sweep. Coyle Cassidy mounted an
attack, including a pass completion to Gronk-esque tight
end Hunter Jones before a fumble recovery gave the ball
back to the Vineyarders.
offense stalled after a holding penalty called back a
Jacob Cardoza score, then a red zone fumble gave the ball
back to Coyle Cassidy at their nine-yard line before Zack
Moreis blocked the punt, leading to Elijah Matthew’s scoop
and score and a 14-0 lead with 6:19 left in the half.
Cassidy was stopped in Vineyarders territory but a
facemask penalty gave the Coyle Cassidy a first down at
the Vineyarders 29, from which the visitors scored on a
sweep by speedy back Connor Rodriguez to cut the margin to
Vineyarders fumbled on their next possession and Coyle
Cassidy scored on a 25-yard TD pass to Hunter Jones. The
score was 14-14 just before halftime.
Cassidy stalled in its second half opening drive and Zack
Moreis blocked his second punt, giving the Vineyarders the
ball at Coyle Cassidy’s 24 yard line, leading to Ben
Clark’s savvy 18-yard scoring run for a 21-14 lead.
would add his second touchdown for a 28-14 lead with 3:08
left in the third. The Vineyarders lost a 55-yard passing
TD to penalty and surrendered a late TD pass to Hunter
Jones, aided by a personal foul penalty, with 4:45 left.
Elijah Matthews intercepted a pass deep in Vineyarders
territory to seal the win.
addition to offensive proficiency, the Vineyarders
defense, with two interceptions by Elijah Matthews and
Ennis Foster and prodigious sacks from Lucas DeBettencourt
and James Sashin, showed great promise for Mr Herman’s
final season at the helm.
this team. We’re thin (in depth) but we’re talented,” Mr.
BOURNE -- After a tough
five-point loss at home against Carver to open the season,
Martha’s Vineyard head coach Donald Herman said his team
learned that a great week of practice translates to a
great outcome on game days.
The Vineyarders reaped the
benefits of their great practices by dominating in all
three facets of the game, defeating Bourne 48-18 at
Jackson Field on Friday evening.
“I think we rebounded really
well after last week. Had we played half as well last week
as we did last night we’d be 2-0,” Herman said.
Bourne dropped to 1-1 with the
Martha’s Vineyard (1-1) played
well behind senior quarterback Tucker McNeely’s (5-for-5
for 75 yards) perfect passing day. He found junior tight
end James Sashin for a five-yard touchdown for the first
score of the game, capping a nine-play, 64-yard drive that
lasted more than four minutes.
Equipped with only 40 varsity
players at his disposal, Herman was able to share the ball
and keep many of his skill position players happy as five
different players found the end zone for M-V.
Senior running back Jacob
Cardoza tallied 86 total yards with a score as well as a
30-yard leaping catch in the first quarter that Herman
said was “ESPN Top-10 worthy.” He even grabbed an
interception on defense to thwart the Canalmen’s opening
drive in the second half. Fellow senior running back Ben
Clark bruised and battered his way for 41 total yards and
Zach Moreis may be small in stature (5-foot-6, 162
pounds), but he came up in a big way for M-V, running for
two touchdowns in the second half, including a 44-yard
quarterback keeper that made it 48-7 early in the fourth
Herman credited the big guys
up front for their win. The starting offensive line
combines for an average height and weight of 6-foot-1 and
“Whoever controls the line of
scrimmage is going to control the game,” he said.
The Carver High School Crusaders pounced on four first half
Vineyarder turnovers and defeated the Martha’s Vineyard
Regional High School football team 20-15 in the season
opener for both squads Friday night at a half-filled Dan
McCarthy field in Oak Bluffs.
All the scoring happened in
the first half. Ben Clark’s 54-yard run and a Curtis Farrell
30-yard TD reception from Vineyard quarterback Tucker
McNeely shaved the Crusader lead to five points at halftime.
The Vineyarders played
without key defender Lucas DeBettencourt in the second half
and two-way starter Austin Chandler missed the tilt with a
knee injury suffered in a pre-season scrimmage this week.
Vineyard Football Alumni involved in College Football:
Redshirt Junior Delmont Araujo is playing
fullback/linebacker for Southern Connecticut State University.
Redshirt Senior Randall Jette is a four year starting
cornerback for Div. 1 University of Massachusetts. He has been
named to the Preseason All MAC 1st Team, and preseason watch
list for the Jim Thorpe Award (Nations to DB).
Ken, Al, and Dan for the 34th consecutive year of
Vineyard football broadcast coverage. Catch
all the action every Monday and Tuesday at 6:30pm on
and on-Demand at
The Cash N Carry cannon is locked and loaded, and of
course we all join in to say Goodnight Norm.