In a game as thrilling as it was heartbreaking, the Carver Crusaders defeated the Vineyarders football team 23-21 on Friday night after scoring a game-tying touchdown and converting a two-point attempt with seconds left on the clock.
The Vineyarders (1-1) had late game heroics of their own, scoring with 1:38 on the clock when Mike McCarthy hit Nick Gross in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown pass to take a 21-15 lead. But the Crusaders stormed right back and tied the game on a 35-yard touchdown run by Brandon Holbrook.
The Crusaders lined up for a two-point conversion and took the lead on a reception by Taylor LeClair.
McCarthy finished with two touchdown passes and a two-yard touchdown rush in the first quarter. He connected with Doug Asselin just before the half for a 26-yard reception to give the Vineyarders a 14-7 advantage at the half.
The Crusaders stopped a key Vineyarder drive in the first by picking off a McCarthy pass in their end zone. But the Vineyarders returned the favor in the third when Matt Costello picked off a Crusaders pass at their own one-yard line.
The Vineyarders play their home opener tonight at 6:30 p.m. against Bishop Connolly, a recent addition to the Mayflower Large league.
During the game a collection will be taken for the late David Jon Brand of Edgartown, a science teacher at the regional high school who died Sept. 14 after a brief illness. All money raised will go to Mr. Brand’s family.
The Vineyard boys prevailed in a defensive battle Wednesday against Old Rochester at Mattapoisett, winning 1-0 on a goal by Jock Cooperider with a nifty assist by Alex Poole. Poole found Cooperider in the 32nd minute of the first half to give the Vineyarders (2-4-1) the win. Earlier in the game Old Rochester had a chance to take the lead on a free kick but hit the cross bar.
Coach Bob Hammond said his team needs to work on their shooting, but overall are improving. “They are getting better every day. We need to shoot better and capitalize more on our scoring opportunities, but it is starting to come together,” he said.
The Vineyarders are now in the middle of a tough four-game road swing, with games against Sandwich, Wellesley and Marblehead still on tap. Overall there are no easy teams on their schedule this year, the coach said.
“Our schedule is brutal because we are not in a league . . . we had to pick up [at large] games and we play a lot of powerhouses,” he said.
The coach praised the play of Poole, who was moved this year from midfield into an attack position.
The Vineyard field hockey team this week improved its record to 4-1-1 with big wins over inter-Island rival Nantucket, Notre Dame and Seekonk.
Last Wednesday the Vineyarders played at home against the Whalers — who were undefeated at the time — and prevailed by a final of 2-1. Brianne Davies and Phebe Bates each had goals in the win. The Vineyarders then beat Notre Dame by a score of 3-1 on Saturday; Sophie Lew had two goals and Alex Fisher had one.
The Vineyarders then won a defensive battle against Seekonk on Monday by a final of 1-0; Lew scored the lone goal of the game.
The high school golf team improved its record this week to 6-3-1 on the season with wins over Bourne, Whitman Hansen and Sturgis, and also lost a grueling match to Sandwich last Wednesday by the slimmest of margins.
In that match, Luke Pisano had the low score for the Vineyard over nine holes with a 39, followed by teammates Henry Smith (40), Josh Crowther (41), Sam Scott (42), Alex Bilzerian (42) and Chris Davies (44). But the Blue Knights prevailed, paced by Corey Patterson and Ronnie Hewins, who each shot a 35.
The next day at Farm Neck, the Vineyarders defeated Whitman Hansen, with Scott, Pisano, Crowther and Gus Hayes all winning their matches. Pisano had the best score of the day with a 37.