The Martha’s Vineyard junior high football team got to showcase its skills against Boston College High School Saturday afternoon in front of a large, boisterous house at Dan McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs. The locals did not disappoint in a 12-0 win. The junior Vineyarders (2-1) scored twice in the first half, first on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Sam Bresnick to John Gonsalves and again on a 20-yard Chris Patnaude run. The Vineyard defense did the rest, grounding the Eagles with a rock solid performance.
Although neither team scored in the second half, the Purple put the game away by running out the final seven minutes with a 70-yard drive.
“We came out with a lot of intensity in the first half and scored the two touchdowns,” Vineyard halfback and linebacker Chris Patnaude said. “After halftime we were a little shaky at first but then we brought it together.”
Prior to kickoff, in a 15-minute ceremony, coach Steve Quinn and Chris, who suffers from Hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES), a potentially fatal blood disease, shared his remarkable story with the crowd. As a sign of solidarity, Vineyard coaches and dozens of fans wore hot pink (the color representing HES) shirts, while both teams wore hot pink arm bands and socks. BC High Arrupe Division (grades 7-8) coach Tony D’ Aurora also addressed the crowd. The Eagles then presented Chris with a team sweatshirt. “They are a class act,” coach Quinn said.
“It was very touching, it was fantastic,” Chris’s father Dennis Patnaude said of the ceremony. “It was emotional with BC coming across the field with all their pink on. We thanked them for their support.”