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Fri, Sep 16, 2011 07:00 PM @ North Andover
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Reading 0 0 0 18 18
North Andover 12 20 0 0 32

Five early touchdowns give Scarlet Knights romp

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Friday, September, 16 By David Willis
Staff writer

NORTH ANDOVER — If there was any question how North Andover’s Brandon Walsh was feeling after struggling with dehydration a week ago, it was definitively answered with his highlight-reel 20-yard touchdown run as time expired in the first half.

“That was nice,” said fellow captain Dan Laorenza. “The play was dead, he kept moving in the pocket and was just able to make a play. It was great.”

That touchdown was the last of five unanswered scores for the Scarlet Knights in the first half, building an insurmountable lead and rolling to a 32-18 victory over defending Middlesex Large champ Reading.

“It was definitely important to go out and get the first win out of the way,” said Walsh. “We shot ourselves in the foot last week with penalties and turnovers. We wanted to clean it up and we did. We played good football.”

After two three-and-outs, Walsh set the tone with a 36-yard touchdown run on a QB sweep. On the Knights’ next offensive play, John Iannone struck for a 20-yard score of his own.

“It felt good to go out and play as well as we did early on,” said Laorenza. “It was the culmination of a lot of plays.”

Walsh finished the first half with 86 yards rushing and three touchdowns and was 7 of 10 passing for 93 yards. Laorenza added six catches for 85 yards. Neither compiled any stats in brief playing time in the second half.

Meanwhile, the defense was just as good, allowing only 33 total yards and no first downs in the first two quarters.

Glen Hartford led the Scarlet Knights with eight tackles, while John Miller added six stops and Laorenza and Ahamdi Ogwuru each chipped in with five tackles.

Hartford also contributed an interception, which set up and touchdown, and Bobby Trickett and Stephen O’Grady combined on a sack and caused fumble.

All three of Reading’s touchdowns came in the fourth quarter against the North Andover backups.

“The difference is we played mistake-free football this week,” said Knights coach John Rafferty. “Our front three of Nate Hitchcock, Greg Ryan and Miller and the linebackers set the tone right away.”

With the starters back into the game late, Walsh saved a touchdown with a tackle on a punt return and Laorenza delivered the stick of the night with a crushing open field hit to jar the ball loose from a receiver.

“Last week we were disappointed,” said Laorenza. “It was nice to come through tonight and get a win.”

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

NA — Brandon Walsh 36 run (kick failed), 4:06

NA — John Iannone 20 run (kick failed), 1:57

Second Quarter

NA — Walsh 1 run (Ryan Quinn kick), 8:09

NA — Nick Oswald  (kick failed), 3:09

NA — Walsh 20 run (Glen Hartford kick), 0:00

Fourth Quarter

R — Ryan Maney 28 pass from Drew Belcher (pass failed), 10:36

R — Anthony DeSimone (rush failed), 4:03

R — DeSimone 4 run (pass failed), 1:27



RUSHING: NA (39-192) — Brandon Walsh 10-86, John Iannone 14-64, Nick Oswald 3-16, Tommy Stabile 8-15, Dan Laorenza 1-8, Casey Walsh 3-3; R (21-56) — Anthony DeSimone 13-37, Drew Belcher 8-19

PASSING: NA — B. Walsh 7-10-0, 93; R — Belcher 16-32-1, 175, Greg Connery 1-1-0, 15

RECEIVING: NA — Laorenza 6-85, Isaiah Nelson 1-8; R — Ryan Maney 7-70, Jared Barros 4-42, Alex Valente 1-33, Belcher 1-15, Bill Carnes 1-12, Kyle McCarthy 1-11, Dylan Swaebe 1-6, DeSimone 1-6

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