For the seventh straight year, Nantucket defeated Martha's Vineyard last Saturday in the historic contest between the two Island football teams, 30 to 20.

The game was played under majestic blue skies before a crowd of 2,500 spectators. It brings the overall record between the two schools to 23-10-2, in favor of Nantucket.

Alison Shaw

For Nantucket the victory means the title in the Mayflower League and an entry in the Division 5 Super Bowl. The game, marking the close of the regular season, leaves Nantucket with a 10-0 record, and keeps alive their regular season winning streak of 23 games.

In one of their most successful seasons in recent history, the Vineyard football team has amassed seven wins and two losses in league play. Vineyard athletes now turn their attention to basketball, in which the Vineyard is traditionally very strong.

The Vineyard's offensive game was dominated by the three Araujos, David, Aaron and Woody. Together, they accounted for all of the team's points.

For Nantucket, junior halfback Richard Perry, was nearly unstoppable, as he consistently penetrated the Vineyard defense for gains of five, seven and 10 yards. He scored three times on runs of five, one and 25 yards. He also rushed for two two-point conversions.

Adding to the Nantucket assault was that island's versatile quarterback, Tim Ostebo, who was masterful with combinations of perfect spirals, well-timed pitchouts, effective draw plays, screens and end runs.

But the game was chiefly played on the ground, with all the touchdowns scored on runs. In addition to the three Perry runs and his two conversions, Nantucket scored on a 46-yard run by senior fullback Nick Duarte.

A lone two-point conversion accounted for the game's only passing points, as Ostebo threw to senior fullback Peter Gilles, a Nantucket co-captain.

The Vineyard points were all on the ground. Aaron Araujo scored on rushes of 29 and 40 yards. Woody Araujo scored on a three-yard run. David Araujo scored on a two-point conversion.

But Saturday's game was closer than the final score suggests, particularly in the first half. Had the Vineyard made its two-point conversions, the final margin would have been but six points.

The teams were tied at eight at the end of the first quarter as both scored on their first possession, Nantucket charged 70 yards and scored on a five-yard Perry run. The Vineyard came right back and scored on Aaron Araujo's 29-yard run.

In the second quarter Nantucket scored on the 46-yard Duarte run as he completely broke away from the field with a fine display of speed. It brought the score to 16-8 at the end of the first half.

The Vineyard defense appeared much more impressive in the third quarter as it held Nantucket scoreless. The hitting was harder, the coverage tighter and the anticipation more clever than in the first half. The Vineyard scored on a 40-yard Araujo run, bringing the score to 16-14 Nantucket. The Vineyard's bid to tie with a two-point conversion failed as David Araujo was stopped by the stocky Nantucket defensive line.

For the Vineyard, that was an unfortunate moment in the game, perhaps a turning point. Nantucket went on to play inspired, runaway football in the fourth quarter, scoring twice.

With the score 30-14 late in the final quarter, Nantucket kicked to the Vineyard. David Araujo returned the ball some 40 yards, picking his way, through the right side of the field before finally being knocked out of bounds. The run brought the Vineyard crowd to its feet; the game was not conceded. The Araujo kick return, a 17-yard pass and finally a score after six tries from within the 10, embodied that spirit. The charge culminated in a Woody Araujo jump over the top from the two. David Araujo's attempt for an extra two points, again up the middle into the heart of a considerable Nantucket line, did not go. The Vineyard had lost, 30-20.

Nantucket, which is nearly maniacal in its love for football, is an impressive football team. Physically, they are large, much bigger than the Vineyard squad. Many appear to be college-sized. They call plays as they need to, a shotgun snap here, a fake hand-off and an end-around pitch there. Nantucket showed a well-coached, well-oiled football machine. Their head coach, Vito Capizzo, has been leading Nantucket teams since 1963.

Vineyard coach Bob Tankard led his team through a solid, no-nonsense season that generated enormous interest and spirit among Vineyarders. What the Vineyard lacked in flash, speed and size in the Nantucket game, it made up for in spirit. The Vineyard boys gave constant encouragement to one another as they watched from the sidelines. Even when it was plain that victory over powerful Nantucket was unlikely, they persevered.