Martha’s Vineyard wallops Nantucket 21-7 to hang on to Island cup

Martha’s Vineyard wallops Nantucket 21-7 to hang on to Island cup

The victory puts the Vineyard up 19-17 in the longtime inter-island rivalry.

Martha's Vineyard fans react to the Vineyard's first score. – Photos by Michael Cummo

In a defensive game with plenty of fouls by both teams,  Martha’s Vineyard beat Nantucket 21-7 on Saturday afternoon in the annual Island cup football game. Mike Mussell, breaking a Vineyard passing record, threw for two touchdowns to Jacob Cardoza.

The Island cup will stay on the Vineyard for at least the next year.
The Island cup will stay on the Vineyard for at least the next year.

Hundreds of fans — Vineyarders and a robust cheering section from Nantucket — filled the stands at Dan McCarthy Field at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, on a sunny but chilly November day.

The first quarter remained scoreless, but Ben Clark changed that at the start of the second quarter when he plunged over the goal line for a touchdown. James Sashin’s extra point  made it 7-0, Vineyard.

The score remained the same until 6:07 on the clock in the third quarter, when Nantucket tied it up 7-7.  The game stayed a nailbiter until Mike Mussell found receiver Jacob Cardoza for another touchdown, and Sashin kicked the extra point to make it 14-7, Martha’s Vineyard.

With 7:17 left in the fourth, the Vineyard recovered the ball on a bad snap on a Nantucket punt and at 5:56, it was Mussell to Cardoza again, extra point good, and MV was up 21-7 for the final.

Over three and one-half decades, Island Cup dominance has ebbed and flowed. The Vineyarders have won the last nine Island Cup games and the Whalers enjoyed a 9-1 run before Mr. Herman took the Vineyarder helm 28 years ago. This year’s victory gives the Vineyard a 19-17 edge in the rivalry.