MARTHA’S VINEYARD 26  FAIRHAVEN 18                   

By Cape Cod Times

FAIRHAVEN – 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.

The Vineyarders (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.

Martha’s 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.

“I really enjoyed the first half,” Martha’s Vineyard Head Coach Donald Herman said. “We had position and we were in total control.”

Fairhaven broke 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.

Fairhaven was 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.

“Then 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 fixed.”