The Whaler football team was never able to get their offensive playmakers into open space in a 28-6 loss to the Mashpee Falcons Friday night. Head coach Joe Perry was disappointed with his team’s performance after a promising win last week to open their season.
“Mashpee was a better football team than we were,” Perry said. “They were a much better team. We were tight in the first half. We made mental mistakes with where we were supposed to be on offense, defense, and special teams.”
The Whalers received the opening kickoff to begin the game but the Falcons intercepted a pass on the opening drive and took it back to Nantucket’s 48-yard line. Mashpee took advantage of the mistake, orchestrating a 10-plus play drive – all running plays – that ended with a two yard touchdown run and a successful two-point conversion to make it an 8-0 game after one quarter of play.
The Falcons stopped the Whalers on the ensuing drive, began marching down the field again, and found themselves in the red zone midway through the second quarter.
The Falcons went for it on fourth and five from the Whaler 14 yard line but cornerback Justin Bloise intercepted the pass in the end zone to give Nantucket possession at their own 20 yard line. The Whalers failed to do anything with the possession and the score remained 8-0 going into halftime.
“Six points, I mean, you aren’t going to win many football games scoring six points,” Perry said. “Justin Bloise only touched the ball four, five, six times maybe. He is our go-to guy. We have to get him open. Carlos (Aguilar) was on the run a little bit. I think our offensive line has to work on some things. It all starts in the trenches on both sides offensively and defensively.”
Mashpee received the second half kickoff and began their drive at their own 11-yard line. They drove down to the Whaler 43 yard line but Nantucket linebacker Ian Williams forced a fumble and the Whalers gained possession.
After the Whalers did nothing with yet another possession, an excellent punt by Justin Bloise was pinned down at the one-yard line by Caiden Shea, putting Mashpee in a difficult spot to begin their next drive.
“Justin looked good punting so there is a highlight,” Perry said.
The Whalers forced a Mashpee punt that was shanked, giving Nantucket possession inside the Falcon’s 20-yard line. The Whalers finally were able to get on the scoreboard after Aguilar, the Whaler’s quarterback, punched it in with a four-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion was no good, but the Whalers were back in business trailing 8-6 after three quarters of play.
“We were in this thing only down 8-6 so there was no doubt I thought we could come back,” Perry said. “I thought we were better conditioned than those guys were on Mashpee but we lost it mentally and they didn’t. Mentally it comes to where am I supposed to be, what position am I supposed to be in, is that my guy or not, stuff like that. We will work on it this week and go from there”
The fourth quarter is where it began to unravel for the Whalers. Mashpee made it a 15-6 game after a 35-yard touchdown run and extra point. Then they extended their lead to 21-6 with a 50-yard touchdown run, but Nantucket blocked the extra point. The Falcons would add one more score to pad their lead and seal the game 28-6.
“I sound down and out about the game because I know we are a better football team than we showed today. But Mashpee is always a very good team. They are always in the trenches, always working hard and going all out 24/7. That is what you need to do to beat this team,” Perry said.
“We are going to learn a lot about this team this week. We have to get home, adjust, and soak it in. Everything has run through Mashpee these last several years. There is a chance we will run into them again. On Monday we need everyone to come in saying I want to be a football player. Smash mouth, old style football. That wasn’t the same defense today that we saw last week.”
The Whalers will host the Nauset Warriors on Friday, September 24th, at 5 p.m.