Vineyarders win overtime thriller over Bishop Stang

Martha's Vineyard vs. Bishop Stang in North Dartmouth. — Photo by Laurie Turney

Martha’s Vineyard defeated Eastern Athletic Conference rival Bishop Stang 8-6 Friday night in a varsity football edge-of-the-seat overtime thriller in North Dartmouth. For the second week in a row, the Vineyarders played a league opponent to a scoreless tie in regulation. Last week, the Vineyarders were on the short end of a 9-6 triple overtime loss to Bishop Feehan. Against the Spartans, one extra period did the trick as M.V. improved to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the EAC.

The Purple defense continued to impress for the third consecutive game, holding Bishop Stang to 142 total yards.

The Vineyarders’ red zone woes continued, however. In the second quarter they had the ball first and goal on the 10 yard line, but a costly penalty and a sack pushed them out of scoring range.

Both teams proved equally ineffective in the second half. Linebacker Kyle Stobie stepped up for the Vineyard defense, making a key tackle to end a long Spartans drive that spanned the third and fourth quarters.

Bishop Stang won the overtime coin toss and got the ball. It took the Spartans only two plays to get in the end zone. The two-point conversion attempt failed, and the Vineyarders trailed 6-0, needing a touchdown to stay in the game.

The Vineyarders fate looked bleak after two failed running plays. But on third down quarterback Tony Breth rolled out, and found Mike Mussell in the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown pass.

Mussell, the starting quarterback for the first four games, injured his hand in last week’s game, and saw limited time at the receiver position. The two seniors teamed up when it counted most.

Joe Turney took a handoff on the conversion attempt and scampered into the end zone for two points, sparking a celebration in the end zone.

“It was a great W for us,” Vineyard coach Donald Herman said. “Once again, it shouldn’t have been that close. We had some opportunities squandered, but we were very fortunate to walk away with the win.”

The Vineyarders are off next week, and will play at EAC rival Somerset-Berkley on October 19.

Spartans edge jayvees

Bishop Stang visited Dan McCarthy Field Monday afternoon and beat the Vineyard jayvee gridders 13-8.

Jack Slayton scored the Vineyard touchdown late in the second quarter. He finished up with 74 yards rushing on nine carries and made six tackles at safety. Justin Donahue also had a fine two-way game, rushing for 81 yards and making 10 tackles at linebacker. Lucas DeBettencourt had six tackles and scored a two-point conversion. Elijah Matthews and Mac Sashin were other defensive standouts for M.V.