The Vineyarders fought blow-for-blow with the Seekonk Warriors Saturday night to open their season, but fell 40-6 in a contest that for the majority of its duration felt closer than what the scoreboard indicated.

After kicking off to start the game, the Vineyard defense quickly stifled Seekonk’s aerial attack with pressure from senior edge rusher Justin Chin and lock-down coverage from junior safety Braden Sayles.

The visitors went three and out, then turned the ball over on downs their next drive. But after taking over on offense deep in their territory, Seekonk’s defense blew up the Vineyard’s attack, and their offense started to click.

Hunter Meader with the sack. — Aaron Wilson

The Warriors’ defensive line opened up the scoring with a strip-sack of Vineyard quarterback Zach Smith in the end zone and recovered the ball for a touchdown.

Then Seekonk quarterback Jared Moran took to the ground to move his offense. The sophomore scrambled for nearly 50 yards during Seekonk’s ensuing drive after taking the lead, capping it with a QB keeper up the middle to score a touchdown.

However, after falling behind 14-0, on the kickoff return Vineyard wide receiver Ty Matthew made two defenders miss then bolted down the left hash marks for a 75-yard touchdown return.

Pulling themselves to within one score, the Vineyard defense gave their offense an opportunity to tie the game after Sayles snagged the first of two interceptions he’d have on the night. But the home team’s attempts to move the ball following the turnover were emphatically stopped by a Warriors’ defensive line that wreaked havoc in the Vineyarders’ backfield all night.

David Butkowsky, Brian Torres and Hoffie Hearn line up. — Aaron Wilson

In the end, Seekonk’s defensive pressure was too much for the Vineyard to contain. Smith found himself being helped off the ground by teammates far too often, and the Vineyarders couldn’t find an offensive groove.

While it felt like the home team was just one or two big plays away from having a shot at a comeback, Seekonk began to run away with the win after Moran completed a 40-yard strike to Nathan Clarke for his first of three touchdown receptions.

But there were some bright spots for Coach Herman’s young team. Senior defensive end Hoffie Hearn had a sack and a fumble recovery. Three sophomores ­— Antone Moreis, Ty Mathew and Jordan Coyle — lead the team in tackling with four each. And Kaleb Hatt, a sophomore defensive tackle, added two tackles and a fumble recovery.

The event was strongly attended. A packed student section spilled out onto the grass by the bleachers while parents and fans occupied the remaining bleacher benches.

Before the game, a moment of silence was held for MVRHS senior Davin Tackabury, who died over Labor Day weekend.

Next up for the Vineyarders is a trip to Malden, where they will look to spoil the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School Eagles’ home opener on Friday the 13th.