Although the matchup between the Vineyard football team and visiting Cape Cod Tech team last Friday under the lights at the regional high school was billed as the most important game of the season, in the end it wasn’t even close.
The Vineyarders scored early and often against their conference rival, and won easily 35-8, in the process taking one step closer to punching their ticket to the playoffs.
Both the Crusaders and the Vineyarders were undefeated in the Mayflower League Large going into Friday’s game, and on paper the two teams were evenly matched. Cape Cod Tech defeated the Vineyarders late last season to knock them out of the playoffs; this year the Crusaders had reeled off three consecutive conference wins.
But perhaps surprisingly, the Vineyard dominated the game from start to finish. Quarterback Mike McCarthy had another strong showing, throwing for three touchdowns and running for another. Coach Donald Herman said his team played one of its best games of the season.
“I thought overall we played well, on offense and defense. The only area we needed to improve on was special teams — we punted one time for a net of only two yards. But considering what was on the line, I can’t complain. This was a good team effort,” he said.
With the win, the Vineyard improved to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in the Mayflower League Large. They can now clinch a berth in the playoffs with a win tonight against Blue Hills in Canton. The game starts at 5:30 p.m.; pregame coverage begins at 4:45 p.m. on WMVY radio at 92.7 FM.
Coach Herman described his team as confident but not over-confident.
“There’s a big difference. We have a chance to determine our own fate, we just have to play smart the next two weeks,” he said.
If last Friday’s game against Cape Cod Tech was any indication, the Vineyarders will be a tough opponent tonight against Blue Hills.
McCarthy went 6-for-11 passing and had 145 yards rushing, helping the Vineyarders to a 21-0 team at the half. He connected with Matt Costello in the third quarter for a 16-yard touchdown pass and again in the fourth quarter on a four-yard pass.
Coach Herman lauded McCarthy for once again running the option play effectively.
“He does a great job of reading the plays and deciding when to hand it off and when to keep it,” he said.
Erik Dolliver filled in for injured fullback Cody Brewer and had a strong game, scoring on runs of 18 and 5 yards and finishing with 121 yards on 15 carries. The Vineyarders defense again dominated, holding the Crusaders scoreless for much of the game until a third quarter score by quarterback Mike Hamilton.
Field Hockey Finals
The Vineyard field hockey team’s brief but memorable playoff run ended Friday against powerhouse Bishop Stang. The scrappy team from the Island — seeded 15th in the Division 2 South Sectionals — gave the number two seed Spartans all they could handle, but ultimately lost a heartbreaker by a final score of 2-1.
Earlier in the week the Vineyard defeated 18th seeded Carver to advance to the second round.
The Vineyarders (8-6-4) held the Spartans (15-1-1) to a single goal in the first half thanks to a strong defensive effort. After Bishop Stang added a second goal in the second half, the Vineyard cut the lead in half with a goal by Olivia Gross. But the Vineyard could not get the equalizer and lost by a single goal to one of the strongest teams in the tournament.