North Andover Scarlet Knights Football '14

Inspired by ailing legend, Knights beat Hillies for North title

NORTH ANDOVER — Bubba Shkliew removed his helmet to show a face smeared with eye black, sweat and a few tears and stopped for a moment on the Walsh Stadium turf to took around absorb the emotion that filled the field.

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Football, 03/10/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Marshfield, North Andover

BROCKTON — Destined for mediocrity at 3-2 after a stunning upset to Lawrence in Week 5, the North Andover High football team went on to rip of five straight wins and pen an inspirational tale.

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Football, 03/10/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Masco outmuscles Knights in series finale

NORTH ANDOVER — For much of the season, North Andover won with toughness and strength up front.

But Thursday morning, the Knights (8-4) got beat at their own game as Masconomet won the battle in the trenches. Masco rolled to a 21-13 victory that ended the 40-year holiday rivalry on a high note for the Chieftains, who finished with a fine 9-2 record.

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Football, 11/28/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Foote, Nichols spur Knights into semis

NORTH ANDOVER — For a guy who began the season hauling in passes, James Foote has evolved into a pretty decent running back.

The first three weeks, I was a wide receiver," said Foote, who had more than 10 carries in only one game prior to last night's Division 2 North quarterfinals. "Then (Breyin) Nichols was out with a hamstring injury. We were thin at the position ... and we just decided to give (running back) a shot."

With Foote now established and Nichols back in the rotation, second-seeded North Andover hit the playoffs running last night, pasting seventh-seeded Waltham 26-0. Not only was it the Scarlet Knights' third consecutive shutout, it also marked a milestone that proved a mild surprise to the guy involved.

"Without a doubt, that's a good way to begin (the playoffs)," said North Andover coach John Rafferty, in his 14th year leading the program. "That's our first postseason win ... quite frankly, that is our first postseason win since we've been here. I hadn't realized that."

True to late-season form, the Scarlet Knights (6-2) controlled both lines of scrimmage, finishing with 275 yards on the ground, while holding the Hawks (3-5) to only 85. In NA's first five games this year, it averaged 150.8 yards rushing. Since Nichols and Foote began sharing the load, the output has increased to 294.3 yards per game.

Last night, Nichols scored the game's first two touchdowns, including a 3-yarder with 3 seconds left in the first half and capped an 81-yard drive and had a game-high 124 yards. Foote had 113 yards on 21 carries and an 8-yard scoring run that provided a 20-0 lead with 4:31 left in the third. Quarterback Seamus Lambert added the final score, capping a 98-yard drive in which Foote ran on 10 of the 15 plays.

"We've got some people back," Rafferty said of the improved ground attack. "And (Nichols and Foote) are seniors and they're captains ... It says a lot about them. You have to run the ball to win football games and defend the run. This is high school. It's as simple as that."

Next up for the Knights is playing host to third-seeded Lincoln-Sudbury (a 37-16 victor over Lynn Classical) at 7 p.m. Friday.

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Football, 10/31/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Nichols returns from preseason injury to lead North Andover to dominant win over Methuen

NORTH ANDOVER — Breyin Nichols had been dreaming of the moment each and every day since early August.

So when he touched the ball, the senior captain was going to make it count.

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Football, 10/17/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Lawrence stuns North Andover

 LAWRENCE — Lawrence High had many opportunities ... to give in.

Two big penalties and fumble inside the North Andover 5-yard line killed any chance of the Lancers putting points on the board in the first half.

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Football, 10/10/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Shkliew, North Andover take care of overmatched Dracut

NORTH ANDOVER — For a few moments, following a first quarter North Andover fumble just short of the goal line, it appeared Dracut could have a breath of life.

But the Scarlet Knights defensive line then broke through to force a safety, and superstar Bubba Shkliew fielded the  ensuing free kick and ran it back 75 yards for a touchdown, sending North Andover on its way to a convincing 34-6 victory over Dracut Friday night.

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Football, 10/03/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

North Andover rallies for first win over Andover since 2005

ANDOVER — As Bubba Shkliew stepped off the Lovely Field turf, the North Andover star pumped his fists and looked up to the sky in joy.

“Finally!” he said.

After eight years of heartbreak at the hands of neighboring rival Andover High, North Andover finally broke through, recovering an on-sides kick in the final seconds to lock down a thrilling 20-19 victory over the Golden Warriors Friday.

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Football, 09/12/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars