Vineyard gridders sack Bourne for first win, 48-14

Ben Clark signals "touchdown" after scoring on the Vineyard's opening drive. —Photo by Ralph Stewart

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Martha’s Vineyard won on the gridiron for the first time this season, sinking the Bourne Canalmen 48-14 in a non-league matchup Friday night at Dan McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs.

The Vineyarders seized control of the game early, using a quick strike offense to roll up a 35-8  halftime lead. Jacob Cardoza ran for 129 yards on eight carries and caught three passes for 78 yards, scoring three touchdowns; one by land and two by air. The Vineyarders and Canalmen are both 1-4.

“We’ve come close on a couple of occasions so it’s finally nice to get off the hump, get off the schneid,” Vineyard coach Donald Herman said after the win. “I thought the kids played hard. We came out early and were able to capitalize on a few things they allowed us to do and that’s always nice. We obviously have some things to work on but it’s always good to get that W, especially putting up 48 points.”

The Vineyarders took the opening kickoff and quickly marched down the field for the first score. Vineyard quarterback Mike Mussell keyed the drive with a 28-yard strike to James Sashin. Ben Clark followed up with a two-yard plunge for the TD. The Vineyarders faked the extra point, with Tucker McNeely passing to Cardoza for the two points and an 8-0 lead.

After thwarting Bourne’s opening possession, the Vineyarders took over at the Canalmen 47, using some razzle-dazzle to increase their lead. On first down, Jacob Cardoza took the snap, ran left, and tossed the ball to James Sashin, who stepped back and fired a perfect pass to Mike Mussell for the flea-flicker touchdown. Sashin booted the extra point to make it 15-0.

Bourne cut the lead to 15-8 following a 21-yard screen pass and a two-point conversion.

M.V. scored again on the first play of the second quarter as Mike Mussell passed to Jacob Cardoza for a 24-yard TD. James Sashin’s PAT put the Vineyard up 22-8.

The points kept on coming. On the next Vineyard drive, Mussell fired a quick pass over the middle to Cardoza, who slashed through the Bourne defense and sprinted 51 yards to the endzone with 6:57 left in the half.

Less than two minutes later, Andy DiMattia recovered a fumble at the Bourne 38. Ben Clark bulled ahead for 12 yards on first down and Curtis Farrell broke loose for a 26-yard TD on the next play.

The Vineyarders scored twice in the second half. Jacob Cardoza ripped off a 46-yard touchdown run down the right sideline midway through the third quarter and Lucas DeBettencourt chalked up his first high school touchdown with a 1-yard run late in the fourth. Isaac Higgins set up the final score with successive runs of 54 and nine yards.

All told, the Vineyarders piled up 421 yards of total offense: 273 rushing and 148 passing. Mike Mussell was 4 for 4 for 101 yards, with two touchdowns and a TD catch. Defensively, Lucas DeBettencourt had nine tackles, while David Macias and Austin Chandler each had eight tackles and a sack.

Following the game, Coach Herman hinted at a recipe for his team’s success. “The offense scored every quarter, so they get pizza for that,” he said. The reward is not limited to the offense. “If the defense gets a shutout, they get a pizza. If special teams score, they get a pizza. Anytime you talk food, it kind of motivates high school boys.”

Pizza and any other motivating factor will come in handy next Friday night October 17 in the homecoming game as the Vineyarders face perhaps their toughest test of the season: powerful Eastern Athletic Conference rival Somerset Berkley.

“It will be a battle, Coach Herman said. “[Somerset Berkley is] probably the best team on our schedule. In fact, I know it is.”