Carver High School won a battle of big plays on Friday night, defeating the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Vineyarders by a 27-14 count in the season opener for both teams at Dan McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs.
Vineyarder quarterback Ivan Shepherd combined with running back Zach Moreis and receiver John Morris for passing touchdowns of 52 and 70 yards for the Vineyarder scoring. Mr. Shepherd scored a two-point try after the second TD. Mr. Moreis electrified a full house, including two sections packed with students, when he turned a short pass in the flat into a weaving 52-yard sprint to give the young Vineyarders a 6-0 first quarter lead barely two minutes into the contest.
However, the veteran Carver Crusaders used long-ground gainers and short passes to build a 27-6 lead before Mr. Shepherd and Mr. Morris hooked up on a 70-yard catch-and-run TD in the fourth quarter of a game that played closer than the score indicates.
For example, Mr. Shepherd and Mr. Moreis had another 50-plus-yard TD called back for an illegal block, and several other long-gainers negated by penalty.
Fans liked what they saw, lining the exit from the gridiron, cheering as the Vineyarder team left the field. First-year Coach Ryan Kent liked it too: “I liked that they hung in and kept going. Great effort. This team stepped up when they could have hung their heads after we got down [in the score]. It’s about execution. We had some big plays; some worked, some didn’t. We’ll keep working on it,” Mr. Kent said after the game.
Next up for the new-look Vineyarders is an away contest at Nauset Regional High School in North Eastham, next Friday at 5:30.