The game will go down in the books as at 26-0 shutout, but the score doesn’t indicate just how close the Sandwich football team came to winning its homecoming game.
Hosting Nantucket on Saturday, October 19, at DeConto Stadium in a battle of Cape & Islands Lighthouse Division leaders, the Blue Knights will look back on a few plays that were decided by a matter of inches.
There was the would-be 69-yard touchdown pass from freshman Tim Bengtson to senior CJ Wiper that slipped right through the hands of Wiper as he was stepping on the goal line. There was also the would-be 54-yard touchdown catch from junior Colby Leighton, who had at least two steps on his defender but the ball was just out of his reach. And perhaps most of all, there was the 17-play opening drive that resulted in a blocked field goal but saw the Knights have six plays in a goal-to-go situation.
It was all for naught as the Whalers forced four punts, three turnovers on downs, an interception and the blocked punt on the afternoon.
On Nantucket’s second offensive possession, the Whalers needed only three players to go 32 yards and get on the scoreboard first. Running back Torane Burton scored on a 22-yard run to take the 7-0 lead to start the second quarter. For the game, Burton finished with 97 yards, two rushing scores and an interception on defense.
Burton’s pick came later in the second quarter as Sandwich had driven to the Nantucket 37 after beginning on their own 19-yard line. Bengtson had three-straight completions to Wiper, Patrick Whearty and Leighton before throwing the interception.
The Sandwich defense had a very strong first half, not allowing the Whalers to convert a third down in four chances. For the game, Nantucket converted only one of seven third down opportunities.
In the second half, Burton scored his second touchdown of the game on the Whalers’ first drive of the third quarter. He capped a six-play, 50-yard drive with an 18-yard run. The drive also featured Leighton’s second sack of the game for the Knights.
Down 14-0 in midway through the third quarter Bengtson orchestrated a 15-play drive that began on his own 21-yard line. He went 4-for-5 for 21 yards on the drive and rushed for 12 yards on three carries that drive. But it stalled out on 4th-and-6 on Nantucket’s 25-yard line after Wiper’s catch gained only three yards.
Nantucket quickly responded as Devonte Usher ripped off a 48-yard touchdown rush on the next drive to take a 20-0 lead. Six of the next seven offensive plays for the Knights resulted in incomplete passes while the other was a sack. The Whalers closed the scoring for the game as Darian Duarte capped a 10-play drive in the fourth quarter.
NUMBER TO KNOW: 2 — The number of offensive drives that lasted longer than six plays for Sandwich. Four possessions resulted in a punt while another ended with an interception. The two drives sustained for 17 plays in the first quarter and 16 plays in the third quarter. Neither resulted in points.
KEY PLAY: The Blue Knights offense embarked on a 17-play, 8:02 opening drive in the first quarter, but stopped short in the Whalers’ red zone. As Lucas Anderson lined up to attempt a field goal, the Nantucket defense got a hand on the ball and blocked it to keep the game scoreless.
ENTERPRISE SPORTS PLAYER OF THE GAME: Torane Burton, RB, Nantucket — The shifty running back broke away for two long touchdown runs and had a punt return score that was called back. In a game that was a defensive struggle until late in the fourth quarter, Burton’s speed was the difference.
UP NEXT: Sandwich (2-4, 1-1 C&I Lighthouse) hosts Monomoy on Friday, October 25 at 6 PM at DeConto Stadium. The Sharks (1-5, 0-2 C&I Lighthouse) are coming off a 38-8 home loss to Martha’s Vineyard (4-2, 1-1 C&I Lighthouse). Monomoy has scored one touchdown in its last four games. Nantucket (3-3, 2-0 C&I Lighthouse) will meet Martha’s Vineyard in the 38th annual Island Cup.
Nantucket — 0;7;7;12 — 26
Sandwich — 0;0;0;0 — 0
11:23 2Q — Toran Burton 22-yard run (Darian Nangle kick)
8:38 3Q — Burton 18-yard run (Nangle kick)
11:08 4Q — Devonte Usher 48-yard run (kick failed)
5:29 4Q — Darian Duarte 4-yard run (kick failed)
Passing — Tim Bengtson (S) 10-for-25, 87 yards, 1 INT; Makkai Bodden (N) 3-for-4, 8 yards; Torane Burton (N) 0-for-2
Rushing — Pat Morin (S) 11 attempts, 26 yards; Bengston (S) 6 attempts, 15 yards; Dan Halloran (S) 2 attempts, 5 yards; Brady Campbell (S) 4 attempts, 16 yards; Torane Burton (N) 7 attempts, 97 yards, 2 TD; Devonte Usher (N) 5 attempts, 71 yards, 1 TD; Darian Duarte (N) 4 attempts, 14 yards, 1 TD; Kenard Liburd (N) 6 attempts, 1 yard; Justin Zadroga (N) 1 attempt, 4 yards; Darian Nangle (N) 1 attempt, -5 yards
Receiving — Brady Campbell (S) 2 receptions, 18 yards; CJ Wiper (S) 4 receptions, 20 yards; Pat Morin (S) 1 reception, 12 yards; Pat Whearty (S) 1 reception, 11 yards; Colby Leighton (S) 2 receptions, 26 yards; Darian Nangle (N) 1 reception, 8 yards; Torane Burton (N) 2 receptions, 0 yards