MVRHS gridders blast off, beat Atlantis 55-0 in opener

Five players find the end zone, everyone gets game time.

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The rebuilding Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School gridders put on a season-opening show Friday night, dismantling the Atlantis Charter High School Tritons (Fall River) by a 55-0 (not a typo) score on Friday night at Dan McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs.

John McCormick led the onslaught with 127 yards and three TDs on the ground. Senior quarterback Ivan Shepard scored twice himself, and tossed a 33-yard TD pass to Antone Moreis, Patrick Ribeiro scored on a 26-yard run, and Zach Smith added a 5-yard TD run in front of a full house celebrating the return of longtime Coach Don Herman.

The game was not as close as the score indicates. The Vineyarders led 41-0 at halftime against an enthusiastic but undermanned Triton squad (22 players), some of whom are clearly still learning the game.

For example, Vineyard kicker Antone Moreis, who put all eight of his kickoffs inside the 20-yard line, hit a boomer after a Vineyarder score which a confused Triton didn’t cover, on which a Vineyarder defender pounced, giving his team the ball at the Triton eight-yard line, leading to a quick 13-0 Vineyarder lead less than three minutes into the contest.

Herman began subbing in the second quarter, everybody played significant time, and by early in the third period, the refs declared running time for the remainder of the game. Still, the Vineyarders ran their offense, including some sophisticated misdirection, and fans were treated to the swarming, gang-tackling defense that’s been a team hallmark.

Hold off on the dynasty talk. The Vineyarders take on ever-ready St. John Paul II (Hyannis) at Dan McCarthy Field on Sept. 14. The Lions opened their season with a 20-14 road win at Sandwich on Friday night.

What we saw Friday night in Oak Bluffs was a smart, aggressive bunch that executed on both sides of the ball.