|LOIS MARGESON Reading chases title|
Led by senior Mike McCarthy, who threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter, Martha's Vineyard made it six straight Island Cup victories, beating host Nantucket, 43-22, yesterday in the 62d matchup of the longtime rivals.
Vineyard didn't waste any time, with Nick Gross returning the opening kickoff 72 yards for a touchdown. McCarthy's conversion run made it 8-0.
Nantucket responded on the next series, with Josh Butler scoring on a 15-yard pass from Chris Welch. A conversion pass fell incomplete but Nantucket had life at 8-6.
Vineyard closed out the first-quarter scoring with a 1-yard run by Matt Costello, followed by another conversion run by McCarthy.
In the second quarter, the Vineyarders broke it open, scoring 21 unanswered points to take a 37-6 lead into the half. McCarthy's three TD passes increased his total to 17 for the season.
McCarthy hit Gross and Randall Jette for 10-yard scores then, just before the half, threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Doug Asselin. Brooks Billingham kicked all three extra points and Nantucket was staring at a 31-point deficit at the half.
In the third, Josh Baker padded the lead for Vineyard (10-1), scoring on an 8-yard run.
Nantucket scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Another Welch to Butler hookup made it 43-14. Welch's third touchdown pass of the day, to Troy Sullivan, was the game's final TD.
Nantucket finished the season 0-10. Martha's Vineyard will face South Boston in the Division 3A semifinals Dec. 2. It will be the Vineyard's first playoff appearance since 2003.
North Shore 39, Northeast 36 - Jesse Wilkins ran for 83 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead host North Shore (9-2). Northeast scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns but misfired on both conversions.
Tri-County 21, Old Colony 0 - The Cougars got touchdown runs from Mike Foster, Shawn Roche, and Lucas Mistler in improving to 8-2.
Can Reading hold off the Merrimack Valley swim powers for the second time in as many weekends? Can Acton-Boxboro, which finished second to Reading at the North sectional by a slim 6 points, improve enough to catch the Rockets?
Those questions will be answered this morning at the MIAA Division 1 swimming championships at Wellesley College. Later in the day, Notre Dame of Hingham will go for its fourth straight Division 2 title.
Last weekend, Reading coach Lois Margeson watched as all three Rocket relay teams finished first, leading to the school's first North title. Senior Alex Hunter swam on all three relays while sophomore Erica Belcher won two individual titles and senior Jen Trodden one. Reading won the North despite not having any divers.
Acton-Boxboro finished second despite not winning an event. Chelmsford was third and nine-time defending state champion Andover was fourth. All four teams have a realistic shot when competition begins this morning at 9.
Notre Dame is the clear favorite in Division 2, led by senior Caroline Vogel, a four-time winner at last weekend's South sectional.