Vineyard gridders thwart Warriors, 15-7

Shepherd scores winning TD late in the fourth quarter.

The Vineyarders huddle up on the sidelines before the start of Thursday night's game. - Lucas Thors

Ivan Shepherd capped off a 75-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run and added a two-point conversion with 1:47 left in the fourth quarter to break a 7-7 tie, as the MVRHS football team earned its second win of the season by defeating the Seekonk Warriors, 15-7, Thursday night at Dan McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs.

“It was a good win,” Vineyard Coach Donald Herman said. “Seekonk is a good, explosive team. Defensively, I thought we played our tails off. Offensively, we did what we wanted to do. We ran ball control, we ran the clock. We squandered a couple of opportunities in the first half, but that was a great game-winning drive we put together.”

With the threat of stormy weather looming on Friday, and SATs scheduled for Saturday, the game was moved up a day. Prior to the opening kickoff, the Vineyarders recognized senior players Michael Courtney, Jason Davey, Reinaldo dos Santos, Andres Garcia, Josue Santos, Tristan Scheller, and Ivan Shepherd, and senior cheerleader Grace Carroll.

After a scoreless first quarter, Antone Moreis picked off a Jared Moran pass and sprinted 35 yards to the end zone. Reinaldo Dos Santos added the extra point, and the Vineyarders had a 7-0 lead.

Seekonk responded later in the second quarter, with Moran tossing a three-yarder to Jack Murphy, who booted the extra point to tie the game.

Before the halftime break, the Vineyard defense came up with a huge goal line stand, stuffing the Warriors on four attempts from the two-yard line.

The Vineyarders began their game-winning drive with 8:30 left in the fourth quarter. MV converted a crucial fourth down on its own 25-yard line to keep the drive alive. After Ivan Shepherd put the Vineyarders in the lead, Braden Sayles intercepted a Warriors pass on the ensuing possession, and Andres Garcia picked up a big first down to help the hosts run out the clock and preserve the win.

The win came at a cost, however. Antone Moreis suffered a broken wrist in the third quarter, and will miss the rest of the season.

Andres Garcia finished the game with 88 yards rushing on 13 carries. Ivan Shepherd ran 19 times for 88 yards, and completed three of seven passes for 34 yards.

The Vineyarders will be back at Dan McCarthy Field on Friday night to take on old Mayflower League rival Bristol-Plymouth. Kickoff is at 6 pm.

With the Nantucket Whalers losing their playoff game to Abington on Thursday night, the 39th Island Cup is set for Saturday, Nov. 17, at 1:30 pm at Vito Capizzo Stadium in Nantucket. The ferry departs from Vineyard Haven at 7:30 am. Tickets may be purchased in advance from Julie Meader in the MVRHS front office. Walk-on fares are $20 for students and seniors, and $30 for adults. Tickets purchased on the day of sail are $30 for everyone. Limited vehicle space is available for $100 (round-trip, including car and driver only).