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Brooks drops finale

Brooks dropped its season-finale to BB&N 42-14.
The Green-and-White trailed 35-0 before getting on the scoreboard in the fourth on a 64-yard touchdown pass from Connor Silva to John Fritz. Brooks capped the scoring when John Manzi ran for a 4-yard score. 
Silva finished with 88 passing yards, 84 of those to Silva. Manzi led Brooks with 48 rushing yards on six carries. 

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Football, 11/10/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Phillips sends Modeste out a winner

Andover's Mike Thompson threw two touchdowns and Phillips Academy send retiring coach Leon Modeste out a winner after 32 years with a 14-0 victory over archrival Phillips Exeter. 
 
"This was a great way to end a wonderful ride at Phillips Academy," said Modeste. "I am a happy man right now. It was a perfect way to end it."
 
Thompson opened the scoring in the first with a 26-yard TD pass to Will Litton. He then connected with Jake Bedell on a 9-yard score in the second. 
 
"Thompson has really grown up this season," said Modeste. "And he is only a junior. We will see big things from him."

 From there it was up to the defense, which delivered a shutout. Sal Lipoli — who rushed for 143 yards on 25 carries — made a team-high 10 tackles and intercepted a pass. Ben Carbo added eight stops. 

 "We had some struggles this season, but the kids really stepped up," said Modeste. "And I am fortunate to have my successor, Trey Brown, here to experience it all with me."
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Central falls to St. John's Prep

DANVERS — Central Catholic came to Glatz Field hoping to carry over momentum from last week’s huge upset win over Everett. 
But St. John’s Prep had other ideas.
A punishing defense prevented the Raiders from getting anything going offensively, and St. John’s won 21-0 to earn a trip to Gillette Stadium for the Division 1 state title game against Catholic Memorial on December 1.
“I’m really happy for these kids,” said Prep coach Brian St. Pierre. “We’ve had more injuries this year than I can ever remember, but each time somebody else stepped up.”
It was second time this season the Eagles bested Central Catholic, winning back in September, 31-12. 
St. John’s got off to a great start on the opening possession. The Eagles drove 45 yards, capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by Andover’s Trent Tully. The senior running back, who took over the starting job due to injury, carried the ball 23 times for 74 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the day.
Despite a strong wind, Prep QB Matt Crowley completed 10 of 13 attempts for 169 yards, and broke the Prep’s record for passing yards in a single season with 1,550. The old record belonged to Andover’s Ollie Eberth (1,461). 
Crowley had success throwing to Wes Rockett (7 catches for 87 yards) and Luke Brennan (2-57). 
“I  want every one of my quarterbacks to break my record,” said St. Pierre, who held the mark until Eberth broke it. “Crowley has grown up in the position, and does a great job leading the offense.”
Central Catholic quarterback Jared Silverio was on the run throughout the contest, and was sacked six times. Anthony Caggianelli led the Raiders with five carries for 31 yards.
“This is an amazing feeling,” said senior captain James Taylor. “Our whole defense was playing out of our minds all game. I’m so happy for everyone. Going to the Super Bowl is amazing.”
  The Eagles added another touchdown midway through the second quarter when Crowley connected with Luke Brennan across the middle for a 49-yard touchdown. Brennan caught the ball at the Raiders 37-yard line and raced untouched to pay dirt. After Sean Majeski booted the second of three PAT’s the lead was 14-0. St. Pierre called Brennan’s catch the play of the game.
“I don’t get targeted a lot, but when those moments happen I have to get up and make the catch,” said the senior wide receiver. “They were playing inside me all game, and the ball from Crowley was perfect.”
The Eagles came up empty in the red zone late in the third quarter after a 42-yard reception by Rockett gave them a first down at the 12-yard line. Majeski’s 23-yard field goal was just wide to the right after kicking into a stiff wind.
Tully put the game out of reach with an 8-yard touchdown run, bulling his way through the defense with 6:42 remaining in the game to wrap things up. The key to that drive was a 25-yard reception by tight end Anthony Fagan.
Central Catholic threatened on its next possession when Silverio (7 of 20 passing, 78 yards)  completed a 36-yard lass to Cam Boes to the Eagles 36. But a long ball intended for Shaun Morgan at the goal line fell incomplete. On the next play James Taylor and Hanley combined for another sack, forcing a punt. 
“We’re not done yet; we’ve got two huge games coming up (Xaverian at Fenway Park and the state title game),” said St. Pierre. “Our defense was just outstanding all game, and we’ve been stout all year. This was a total team effort, and so many different guys performed well. We’ll enjoy it for a couple of days, and then get back to work.”
 
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Football, 11/10/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pinkerton rolls past Salem, into state title game

SALEM — Covered from head to toe in mud for the second straight week, Pinkerton’s Gannon Fast raised his arms and let out a shout of excitement as he walked towards the screaming crowd.
“There’s nothing better than winning a game like this,” said Fast. “We went to the state title game last year and lost, so there is nothing better than earning another shot. And we have it now.”
Leading by just six points at halftime, No. 4 Pinkerton scored on its first four possessions of the second half and rolled to a 30-7 victory over No. 3 Salem in the New Hampshire Division 1 semifinal.
The victory sends Pinkerton back to the Division 1 state championship game, on Saturday at the University of New Hampshire (6 p.m.) The Astros (9-2) will face Bedford (11-0), the No. 1-ranked team in New Hampshire.
“It feels so good!” said senior Gennaro Marra. “Our goal all year was to go back to the title game. We want to earn some redemption after last year. But we have a lot of work to do.”
Pinkerton returns to the Division 1 title game after falling to Winnacunnet last season at UNH. It’s the Astros’ 10 trip to the championship game in the last 12 years. They last won the title in 2014.
“What we’ve wanted all season was another chance at a state championship and a championship jacked,” said senior Nick Lombard. “Most of this team were starters last year, and we have grown a lot. Now we are going to see what we need to do to win.”
Saturday’s win also marked the second straight season that Pinkerton beat Salem in the semifinals after falling to the Blue Devils in the regular season. The Blue Devils won a 15-14 thriller on Sept. 28.
“When we played Salem earlier in the year it was hands down our worst game of the season,” said Fast. “Going into this game, the amount of anger and preparedness was indescribable. We were hungry for this win.”
Fast looked hungry to start the game. On Pinkerton’s fourth play from scrimmage he broke free for a 40-yard touchdown run.
But Salem’s defense responded after that and kept the score 6-0 at halftime. The Blue Devils delivered a huge defensive stand right before the break, stopping Pinkerton four times inside their 3-yard line. Owen Gormley, Will Michaud and Beau Dillon each made a stop on the stand.
“We said to each other that at halftime it was either step up now or go home,” said Lombard. “And all we wanted was another shot at a state title. So put left it all out there and got it done.”
The Astros wasted no time taking control after the break.
Four plays into the third, Lombard broke a 48-yard touchdown run. After forcing Salem into a turnover on downs, Pinkerton went on a 14-play drive that ended with a Marra 12-yard score.
Salem was then forced to punt from its 1-yard line, and Pinkerton’s Allen Gault blocked the punt in the end zone and Fast recovered it for a touchdown. 
Fast then capped the scoring a possession later with a 16-yard TD run. He finished with 163 yards rushing on 22 carries. Lombard added 92 yards on 12 rushes.
Meanwhile, the Pinkerton defense dominated. 
The Astros allowed Salem just 168 yards for the game, 62 of those — and the Blue Devils’ touchdown — coming on the final two possessions after the Pinkerton starters had left the game.
Jackson Clark led the Astros with eight tackles, Fast and Evan Wilson each had six tackles and Marcus Terrio knocked down two passes.
“Our linemen really stepped up,” said Lombard. “And our linebackers were all over the place making plays. We did what we needed to do.”
Pinkerton will now look to earn an upset at UNH.
“Bedford is a great team,” said Fast. “They’re undefeated and haven’t played a close game. But I’m excited for a shot at a great team, and another shot at a state championship.”

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Consistency plagues Andover

ANDOVER — Consistency, which has plagued the Andover football team all season, proved to be a problem once again Friday night against Billerica.

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Westford denies Lawrence shot at history

WESTFORD — The forecast for Friday night called for rain and lots of it — and even that may have undersold the deluge that poured down on the field at Westford Academy. 
Sharing the field with the gallons of rainwater were the visiting Lawrence Lancers and the host Grey Ghosts (5-5), who had planned for this type of football earlier in the week.
“Practicing for all types of conditions,” Westford head coach Pat Gendron said of his team’s training. “Use different balls — dry ball, wet ball — getting balls in, making sure we’ve got guys on the sideline doing their job, making sure everyone’s adding value somehow.”
That preparation served the Grey Ghosts well, as they pounded their way to a 32-6 win over Lawrence thanks to three second-quarter touchdowns and a running game that dominated time of possession.
Senior Nicholas Faretra amassed 102 yards on 10 carries and plunging into the end zone twice on runs of two and 37 yards. 
Senior captain Tyler Bella also found the end zone on a run for Westford, turning in the game’s longest play on a 71-yard run that punctuated the 26-point victory.
And while the fierce rain – worsened by a whipping wind – caused the game to be fought on the ground, the Westford defense also came up big to bolster their offense. The Grey Ghosts held the Lancers (2-7) to just 75 total yards in the first half, and blanked the opposition entirely until 1:14 into the final quarter. There, a 48-yard strike from junior Jacob Tamayo to senior Anthony Garcia put the Lancers on the board.
Lawrence had a chance to make history. Riding a two-game win streak, the Lancers hadn’t won three straight since 1999 ... with one of those 1999 wins a loss but they won on a forfeit. 
Prior to that, 1996 was Lawrence’s last three-game win streak.
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Football, 11/09/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

North Andover wins Division 2 North crown, earns title game berth

NORTH ANDOVER — Gabe DeSouza could not fight back the tears of joy that ran down his face as he stood, overcome with emotion, celebrating on the Walsh Stadium turf.
 
“This is unreal,” said DeSouza, wiping away tears. “This is the greatest moment of my life. Everything that happened to me, all the struggles, changed my life. And it has all paid off now.”
 
A season ago, DeSouza left the Division 2 North title game in an ambulance, after suffering a life-threatening heart arrhythmia.
A year later, on Friday, he and his North Andover teammates left the field as champions.
 
On the third play of the game, DeSouza intercepted a pass and ran it back 24 yards for a touchdown. It was all North Andover from there, as the top-seeded Scarlet Knights surged to the Division 2 North crown with a dominant 42-0 victory over No. 2 Lincoln-Sudbury.
North Andover fell to Lincoln-Sudbury in the North title game last fall.
 
“I’m the happiest man on Earth right now,” said Knights tri-captain Darren Watson. “This was the revenge tour. This was the biggest game of our lives. We’ve worked four years for this, and to be here is the best feeling.”
The win sends North Andover (10-0) to the Division 2 state championship game at Gillette Stadium, where they will play South champ King Philip (8-2). The game will be played on either Nov. 30 or Dec. 1.
It is the first North title for the Knights since beating Haverhill for the crown in 2014. They then lost in the now-defunct Division 2 state semifinal.
“It’s crazy,” said running back Freddy Gabin. “We saw what (the North final) was like last year. So we had this all planned out. Coach (John Dubzinski) laid out the blueprints. We got after it, and we got it done.”
With rain pouring from the opening kickoff, North Andover set the tone right away.
On the third play of the contest, DeSouza jumped a route and cruised into the end zone for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead just 1:06 into play.
“That play turned the game,” said Gabin. “Once I saw him pick off the pass and go into the end zone, I knew we were going to win.”
After a Warrior 3-and-out, Watson took North Andover’s first offensive play and broke a 67-yard run. A play later, QB Jake McElroy ran in a 3-yard score, and the Scarlet Knights were rolling.
“I saw the hole and hit it,” said Watson, who finished with 80 yards rushing and 103 yards receiving. “The guys gave me a big hole to run through, and I took it.”
After another 3-and-out and a blocked punt, Gabin sprinted in for his first of three touchdowns, an 11-yard score.
Watson then made it 28-0 at halftime, taking screen pass from McElroy and breaking free for a 51-yard touchdown.
Lincoln-Sudbury only threatened twice, both late in the first half. 
The Warriors advanced to the Knights’ 39-yard line, but defensive lineman Charlie Regan knocked the ball out of the QB’s hands, and it was recovered by Thomas Vance. 
Lincoln-Sudbury later made it to the North Andover 14. But Keegan Hardacre and Mike Roche each had a sack to force a turnover on downs. 
North Andover continued to dominate in the second half, with Gabin adding touchdowns of 10 and 9 yards. The Knights did not punt once.
DeSouza (two interceptions) led a North Andover defense that allowed just 153 yards of offense, 76 of those in the second half with the game well in hand.
Vance added six tackles, Ryan Slattery had eight stops and Watson had five tackles.
“Everything was working on defense,” said DeSouza. “Our line was getting pressure, our linebackers were doing their job and we were shutting it down in the secondary.”
North Andover now has its eyes set on Gillette Stadium and the chance to win a state title.
“I can’t wait!” said DeSouza. “I can’t wait to play at Gillette. It’s a dream come true. It will be amazing.” 
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Bryant (3 TDs) dazzles as Methuen tops talented Reading

READING - As the rain fell harder and harder Friday night, Connor Bryant only got stronger and stronger.

Methuen's senior quarterback was the offense for the Rangers in the tough non-league matchup with stalwart Reading - the 2016 Division 1A Super Bowl runner-up.

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Espinal runs wild to give Bradley 125th win

HAVERHILL — A.J. Espinal gained 212 yards on just eight carries and scored three times as Whittier whipped winless Triton, 34-14.

Espinal scored on runs of 1, 41 and 42 yards. Tyler Flodstrom had a touchdown run and connected with Josh Rousseau for a 22-yard scoring strike.

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Reggies' Caceres, Mezidor trample Lynn Tech

LYNN — Jose Caceres (18-105, 3 TDs) and Ader Mezidor (12-120, TD) led a dominant running attack and Greater Lawrence roughed up Lynn Tech, 36-8, in a non-playoff game Friday night. Shamil Diaz also had a TD run for the 7-3 Reggies, who led 36-0 late in the third period. The visitors dropped to 6-4. The Reggies had plenty of defensive stars led by defensive back Omar Medina (2 interceptions), linebacker Donnie Croteau (interception) and Alex Cortez (2 sacks).

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Defense shines, but Phillips falls

WORCESTER — Neither defense was giving an inch between Phillips and Worcester Academy.

Chelmsford Sal Lupoli led the charge again with 18 tackles and a sack, but Phillips couldn't get any offense going in an 8-0 loss Saturday night.

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Football, 11/03/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Michaud sends Salem into semifinal showdown with Pinkerton

HAMPTON - The defending New Hampshire Division 1 champions had more than its fill of Will Michaud down the stretch.

Three weeks after the Salem running back went to Winnacunnet and ran for a season-high 118 yards in a Blue Devil regular-season win, the senior almost doubled that total in a game that mattered even more.

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Football, 11/03/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Lombard, Pinkerton deliver goal line stand in final moments, earn trip to Division 1 semis

LONDONDERRY — With the game on the line, Pinkerton’s Nick Lombard saw the play develop, and he reacted.
 
“We knew it was going to come down to that last play,” said Lombard. “We didn’t panic. I saw No. 12 (Jeff Wiedenfeld), who was ripping us apart, get the ball and I immediately came down and made the tackle.”
 
With 1:31 left in the game and Londonderry facing a fourth-and-goal, the Lancers set up a screen play that seemed to have space. 
But Lombard surged in to wrap the ballcarrier up and bring him down for a loss and a turnover on downs.
 
No. 4 Pinkerton ran the clock out from there, closing out a thrilling 20-14 victory over top-seeded archrival Londonderry in the New Hampshire Division 1 quarterfinals on Saturday.
 
“This feels amazing,” said fullback/defensive end Gannon Fast. “People doubt us every week, but we come out and play football. We did exactly what we needed to do. I couldn’t be happier with my boys today. Nothing feels better than this.”
The Astros (8-2) dealt Londonderry (8-2) their only two losses this fall, and extended a winning streak against the Lancers that began in 2002. 
The win sends Pinkerton to the Division 1 semifinals, where it will face No. 3 Salem, which rolled over defending Division 1 champ Winnacunnet 33-14 on Saturday.
The Blue Devils beat the Astros 15-14 in their regular season matchup on Sept. 29. Pinkerton beat Salem 45-28 in last year’s Division 1 semis. 
“As good as this win feels, it will feel even better if we get a win next week,” said running back/defensive back Gennaro Marra. “Salem came to our field earlier this season and embarrassed us. So we have to be ready to play. We can’t wait to face them.”
For a few moments on Saturday, however, Londonderry seemed poised for a dramatic victory.
Fast gave Pinkerton the lead with 8:06 left when he plunged in for a 1-yard touchdown, his second of the game. But the extra point was blocked, making the Astros’ lead just six.
Londonderry then took over at its 35, and embarked on a methodical 15-play drive that advanced to Astro 8-yard line with 2:26 left on the clock.
But Pinkerton’s Robbie Fahey stuffed a run on first down, and Jackson Clark made a tackle for a short gain on second down. Londonderry went to the air on third down, but Johan Rosario knocked the ball away.
That left the Lancers with one play to decide the game.
“They had been running that screen for most of the game,” said Marra. “So we saw it coming. Nick is a really smart player, so he was able to get up there and make the tackle. It was a great play.”
Lombard was then mobbed by his teammates.
“I think I blacked out on that play,” Fast said with a laugh. “It was crazy. Great play by Nick.”
Londonderry threatened to take control throughout the contest, but Pinkerton was able to find the answer each time.
The Lancers scored just before halftime to make it 7-7, then opened the second half with a drive to the Astro 29-yard line.
But Pinkerton linebacker Jake MacInnis jumped a pass route, intercepted a pass and sprinted 73 yards for a touchdown to give the Astros the lead.
Londonderry tied it up with a 13-play, 80-yard drive. But Pinkerton struck right back with its own 80-yard drive, and Fast made it 20-14, setting up the final stand.
“I didn’t have the chance to play Londonderry in the regular season,” said Lombard, who was then battling an ankle injury. “So it was really nice to go out and get the big win. On offense, we just needed to protect the ball and not let turnovers beat us. And then we needed to take care of business on that last drive.”
Marra led the Astros with 110 yards on just nine carries. Fast added 89 yards on 16 rushes. Pinkerton threw the ball just three times, but one was a crucial 31-yard completion from QB Aiden Goujon to Trent Leduc that set up the team’s first score.
Clark and Lombard each led the Astros with eight tackles, while Fahey added six stops and Leduc had four tackles.
The Astros now set their focus on Salem, and earning a return trip to the state title game.
“We have a huge game next week,” said Lombard. “We lost to them by one point earlier this season, and it hurt. We are excited for a second chance.”
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Football, 11/03/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Knights spread the wealth in romp

NORTH ANDOVER — Once a workhorse in the North Andover backfield, senior speedster Darren Watson no longer gets many touches.

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Football, 11/02/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central stuns Goliath: Raider kicker Mazzie, son of Everett Police Chief, drills winning field goal to upset Tide

EVERETT - There were no words as the final pass of Friday night's Division 1 North semifinal game hit the turf incomplete.

On one sideline, it was pure, speechless shock. On the other, pandemonium.

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Football, 11/02/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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