Happy days return for MVRHS gridders

Vineyarders dispatch Pope John Paul II In a 37-0 domination at Mass. Maritime.

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Vineyarders Antone Moreis and Hoffie Hearn celebrate after a touchdown during the Island Cup last week. — Lexi Pline

Updated Nov. 5

The drought is over. With a convincing 37-0 win over Pope John Paul (PJP2) Saturday night at Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s (MMA) Clean Harbor Stadium, the Vineyarder gridders end a stretch of three losing seasons.

Now at 5-3 with two potentially winnable games to play, the Vineyarders are looking to finish at 7-3 in Donald Herman’s second return season behind the bench. The Vineyarders won five games total in the past three (2016–2018) campaigns combined.

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) squad channeled Nantucket’s performance in last week’s Island Cup Whaler win, jumping out to a three-touchdown lead in the first 14 minutes at a gorgeous college stadium on a short TD run by Antone Moreis and two long scoring runs by Moreis, who had 108 yards on six carries in the first half and 179 yards overall.

Everybody got a shot this week, as Oscar Shepherd, Hunter Meader, and Jayden Coyle had running scores as well. Coyle ran for 83 yards, Meader for 25 yards, Ty Mathew for 20, Hoffie Hearn for 15, T.J. Lett had nine tough yards, and Christian Turner three yards in the late going. 

“I thought we played very well in all phases of the game, and we were able to get some deserving kids playing time. Alex Calverly got his first start at left guard, and Brendon Pires started at defensive tackle, both playing all the way,” Coach Donald Herman said, noting that freshmen T.J. Lett, Brendon Wood, and Christian Turner saw action, Lett running for nine yards and Turner recovering a fumble.

Pires also scored his first varsity point, a PAT. The fresh faces were standouts last week in the JV unit’s 3-0 win over Nantucket.

The game went to running time late in the third period, with PJP2 unable to mount an offensive threat, down by five TDs and with first-year throwing quarterback Aaron Cole often running for his life under relentless Purple pressure.

Josh Pinto was named WMVY radio’s defensive player of the game with a fumble recovery, four tackles, and an assist. Braden Sayles had two picks, and Oscar Shepherd one interception. Hunter Meader had three tackles and three assists.

Now the Purple take on perennial Super Bowl contender Mashpee (5-3), slated for Friday 6 pm at Dan McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs, and finish up with the struggling Fairhaven squad, which is scheduled at Fairhaven but Herman hopes will come to Oak Bluffs. “We’ve been at their place the last six games; hoping they can come here,” Herman said.

Updated to include player stats and Herman quote. —Ed.