James Carson scored on a six-yard run with 14.5 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter as Bristol-Plymouth defeated Martha’s Vineyard, 21-14, in the final home football game of the season Friday night at Dan McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs.
The Vineyarders came into the game against their old Mayflower League rivals riding the momentum from an impressive win over Seekonk last week, but quickly fell into a 14-0 hole as Kyle Macomber and Marcus Pittsley scored for the Craftsmen on the first two possessions. To make matters worse, the Vineyarders were gracious hosts and aided the Craftsmen cause with two costly penalties and a turnover.
Antone Moreis put the Vineyarders on the board in the second quarter with a 55-yard touchdown run, and added the two-point conversion to make the score 14-8 at halftime.
The Vineyarders tied the game on their first drive of the second half. Jayden Coyle returned the opening kickoff 25 yards, and quarterback Ivan Shepherd capped off the 55-yard drive by bursting up the middle for a 14-yard TD run.
Both teams cranked up the defense for the majority of the second half, but the Craftsmen fashioned together an impressive 62-yard drive when it mattered most. With 3:38 left in regulation, B-P quarterback Roman Barros started the series by connecting with a wide-open Alex Zamora for 30 yards, and five plays later, Carson swept right and squeezed past the pylon for the winning points.
After the game, Vineyard Coach Donald Herman was disappointed with his team’s poor start. “We didn’t come out right,” he said. “We gave them too many breaks in the first quarter, two big penalties, and you just can’t do that. They took advantage of our mistakes.”
With the Island Cup next on Nov. 17, a second consecutive win would have been a big boost for the 2-8 Vineyarders.
“It was disappointing to lose this game,” Coach Herman said. “I thought we really needed momentum for next week [at Nantucket], but like I told them, next week is its own beast and anything can happen. Believe me, everything has happened over there.”
Before his team left the field and headed back to the locker room, Coach Herman had the players chant a rallying cry for the week leading up to the Island Cup: “KHUNA Whalers!” “KHUNA, Keep Hitting Until Nobody Answers,” the coach explained. “That’s been our mantra for this week for a long time.”