The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) Vineyarders football team got on track in the second half Saturday, improving to 2-2 in the spring season with a convincing 35-7 win over Monomoy High School at Dan McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs.
The Purple rushed for more than 400 yards in the contest, including 300 yards combined between Braden Coyle (163 yards, two touchdowns) and Ty Mathew (137 yards, one TD). Alec Calverly added a TD, and freshman Luciano Baldwin scored his first career TD in the contest.
You would be forgiven at halftime if you were worried this would be a nail biter, as the Vineyarders racked up most of their nine penalties, including 45 yards on Monomoy’s TD drive that led to a close Vineyarder 14-7 halftime lead.
After a halftime chat with Coach Don Herman, his charges came out focused in the second half on Senior Day, adding three scores to put it away. Seniors and families honored at the game included Braden Sayles (captain), Oscar Shepherd, Zach Smith (captain), Owen Mettell, Hunter Meader, Aden Ross, David Butkowsky (captain), Brendon Pires, and Brian Torres (captain).
Herman is working the phones to get a game on this bye week before traveling to Nantucket on April 24 for the season-ending Island Cup matchup with the Whalers, who are 2-3 on the season. “We’ve only played two teams, Sandwich and Monomoy. And I’d like to face another
team before Nantucket. Our game with Pope John Paul II was a COVID-canceled game earlier this season,” he said.
“I thought we played well, we got better on Saturday. The offensive and defensive lines played well. No, we didn’t throw much. When you rush for 400 yards, you don’t need to throw much,” Herman said.
The season numbers bear him out. Their game is not flashy, but it is relentless, with multiple veteran players showing the way and new high-talent rookies showing up every week to make a difference, as Baldwin did on Saturday and players such as Von-Trai Porter, T.J. Lett, and Owen Amodio have done this season. Converted soccer player Hiaggo Goncalves has become Mr. Automatic on extra-point attempts, going five for five on Saturday.
The Purple defense has been, well, flashy at times, with secondary mates Calverly and Sayles enjoying multiple pick seasons, and Calverly and Hunter Meader leading the improved sack attack.
On Saturday, Meader led with seven unassisted tackles. Owen Mettell and Braden Sayles had five, Butkowski four, and Brian Torres, three tackles. Sayles and Shepherd each had a pick.