Next year, the Vineyarders may have to invite a different guest for homecoming. Cardinal Spellman of Brockton came to the Island Friday night and handed out a 31-6 shellacking on a chilly, blustery night at Dan McCarthy Field. With the result, the Vineyard’s four game winning streak came to a resounding thud.
The following day, in a conversation with the Times, Vineyard coach Donald Herman spared little in his assessment of the team’s performance. “There were a lot of points in the game last night where there were two different teams playing, one that was playing the game the way it’s supposed to be, very aggressively, very hard, to the whistle, and one that wasn’t,” he said, “I’m sure you can guess which team we were and which team we weren’t. I thought we played about a good solid ten minutes of football.”
The Purple helped the Cardinals cause by committing four turnovers: two interceptions, a fumble, and a muffed punt. To be fair, Vineyard quarterback Alec Tattersall, who had thrown only one pick this season coming into the game, had both passes deflected.
“We had an opportunity to make some plays,” coach Herman said, “We feel like it should have been more like a 10-7, 14-7, 7-7 game at halftime but when you give a good football team four turnovers, not many good things are going to happen for you.”
Spellman scored on its first possession and rolled up a 24-0 halftime lead. Cardinal running back Matt Anastasi pillaged the Vineyard defense for well over 100 yards and scored three touchdowns.
Trailing 10-0 in the second quarter, the Vineyarders had a chance to stay close but a promising drive stalled at the Cardinals five.
“We misfired on a potential touchdown pass in the back of the end zone,” coach Herman said.
The second half began brightly for M.V. After the stopping the Cardinals on their first drive, Joe Turney returned the ensuing punt 54 yards for a touchdown to close the gap to 24-6.
Spellman responded with a momentum sapping 15 play, eight minute drive that spanned the remainder of the third quarter and the first play of the fourth. Game over.
By dominating possession and piling up the points, Cardinal Spellman neutralized Vineyard running back Brandon Watkins, who finished with 59 yards on only eight carries.
The silver lining for the Vineyarders was the defensive play of Tony Canha and Joe Turney, who chalked up eight and seven tackles respectively. Mike Mussell and Jahmari Thomas also played well.
The Purple will have to regroup quickly. The Eastern Athletic Conference schedule starts next Friday night when powerful Somerset Berkley visits Dan McCarthy Field. Kickoff is at 6:30 pm.