Football Ends Season With 24-14 Win On Veteran’s Day

The Whaler football team took the field Thursday afternoon on Veteran’s Day without the motivation of playing for a state championship or against a rival like Martha’s Vineyard. They took the field because it was an opportunity to compete and cap off what has largely been a successful season with a win after being knocked out of the playoffs last week by Cohasset.

The Whalers did just that by beating the Cardinal Spellman Cardinals 24-14.

“It was a great win for our senior class as they go out,” Nantucket head coach Joe Perry said. “I am excited for them. I think they played really well offensively and defensively. Makai (Bodden) looked great out there at quarterback. Caiden Shea ran really well. Justin (Bloise) was good as usual. The seniors really led the way today.”

The Whalers scored first with 14 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Bloise ran it in from five-yards out to give Nantucket a 7-0 lead.

The Whalers forced a fumble on the following Cardinal possession and were able to turn it into three more points after Bloise drilled a 27-yard field goal to give the Whalers a 10-0 lead with 6:07 to go in the first half.

The Cardinals fumbled again on the following drive. Nantucket’s front seven was physical all game long with Whaler defensive lineman Ian Williams leading the way. He had his best game of the season and was all over the field in the first half.

Nantucket got the ball back on the Cardinal 42-yard line and Bloise drew a defensive pass interference penalty that gave Nantucket a first and ten from the Cardinal 27-yard line.

Bodden dropped back to pass and looked to his left for 6’6 wide receiver JJ Bennett, who was in one-on-one coverage. Bodden placed a perfectly thrown ball up for grabs that Bennett was able to secure in the back corner of the end zone by using his size to box out the defender.

“That was a great ball by Makai,” Perry said.

The Whalers took that 17-0 lead into halftime but were sluggish coming out to begin their final half of the season.

The Cardinals first drive of the second half took eight minutes and 50 seconds to complete. It was capped off with their first touchdown of the game to make it 17-7 Nantucket with 3:10 left in the third quarter.

After Nantucket fumbled and gave possession back to Cardinal Spellman, the Cardinals began to drive the field again. But safety Garner Ray picked a pass off in the end zone to give Nantucket possession back. The interception was made possible off of Williams’ pass rush.

Nantucket was forced to punt but burned some clock on the drive. The Cardinals once again found themselves driving the field before fumbling for the third time on the day. Nantucket recovered and responded by driving the field for their third touchdown of the game off a six-yard run from Bloise to give the Whalers a 24-7 lead with three minutes left in the game.

The Cardinals would add one more touchdown in garbage time on a 33-yard touchdown run, but it was too little, too late. Nantucket won the game, finished their season with a 6-3 record, and sent their seniors out as winners.

“This was a talented group of seniors and a tight-knit group,” Perry said. “They respect our program, respect the school. They came together in the end and made the playoffs and you know what? A lot of teams don’t make the playoffs. Hats off to these guys. A lot of these guys are three-sport athletes so we will see them down the road playing something else in the winter and spring.”

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