Methuen Rangers Football '15

Methuen seniors go out on top

DRACUT — In the 53rd annual Thanksgiving meeting between the Methuen Rangers and the Dracut Middies, the seniors of Methuen scored all six touchdowns to lift the Rangers to a 42-6 victory. Methuen finished the season with a 5-6 record. “We really wanted to honor the seniors and play as hard as we could,” said Methuen head coach Tom Ryan. “We didn’t want to go out with our last game being a loss.” As they have all season, Brian McAndrew and Kendrick Denose led the Methuen assault. Denose had a fantastic day leading his team from the shot-gun; going 9 of 11 for 205 yards and three touchdowns while gaining 65 yards on the ground with another score. McAndrew carried the ball 23 times for 148 yards, and reached the end zone twice. Denose started the scoring with an 18-yard run on the first drive of the game. On the Rangers’ next possession, Denose hit his twin brother Kevin for a 63-yard touchdown bomb. Up 21-0, McAndrew dove for the pylon for a 9-yard run that gave Methuen a 28-0 halftime lead. Methuen scored on all four of its first-half possessions and held winless Dracut to just 63 total yards of offense in the half. “We practiced hard all week,” said Ryan. “I thought we played well on all three phases of the game. Our seniors represented the city of Methuen very well today and I’m proud of them.” Peter Kwakye capped off the day for Methuen with a 60-yard touchdown run to put the Rangers up 42-0. Dracut got on the board on the last play off the game when Cam McCullough found Nik Carter in the back of the end zone on fourth down. Methuen has won the past five Thanksgiving matchups to put the all-time series at 26-24-3 in favor of Dracut. Double Trouble Seniors Kendrick Denose and Brian McAndrew were one of the most potent rushing tandems in area history. Denose rushed for 1,250 yards this fall and McAndrew 1,193.

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Football, 11/26/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Denose, McAndrew lift Methuen over Chelmsford

METHUEN — During the week, Methuen seniors Kendrick Denose and Brian McAndrew were not feeling all that great. Denose was still hobbled by a toe chip fracture suffered in a win over North Andover and McAdam was battling an ailing shoulder. But Friday night, the offensive standouts ignored the pain to help carry the Rangers (now 4-5) to a never-safe 43-34 victory over Chelmsford. Denose was outstanding with three touchdowns and 148 yards rushing while throwing two TD passes while McAndrew rushed for 141 tough yards and a TD on 26 carries despite aggravating his sore shoulder. “The shoulder was bothering me all week, but I overcame it,” said McAndrew. “I’ll be all right.” Denose felt pretty much the same way. “During the week (toe) hurts a lot, but I don’t think about it during the game,” said Denose. The offensive exploits of the dynamic duo were a must because the Rangers, leading 30-7 late in the third quarter, gave up three straight touchdowns and then had to hang on for dear life, only clinching it on a 39-yard scoring run by Denose with 59 seconds remaining. “This is November and there is going to be a lot of bruises, and they’re banged up, but they continue to suck it up,” said Methuen coach Tommy Ryan. “Brian is about as tough as any kid I’ve been around. He has a real high pain threshold.” McAndrew scored the game’s first TD, early in the second quarter on a one-yard plunge, and then Denose took over. Two minutes after McAndrew’s score, he zoomed around the left side for 59 yards and then, after a 25-yard field goal by Jordan Perdomo, threw a 22-yard scoring strike to Michael Bodenrader (5 catches, 97 yards and 2 TDs) to make it 23-7 at halftime. After Denose scored on a 12-yard run early in the third, the Rangers seemed to be in total control, 30-7, but  — depending on how you look at it — either the Lions’ offense (285 yards in the second half) cranked it up or the Methuen defense faltered. In a span of 11 minutes, Chelmsford scored four touchdowns, including three in a row to make it 30-27 and later 37-34, but Denose had the last TD run to wrap it up. “It’s nice to get the win but our defense has a lot of problems,” said Ryan. “We were on a mess on defense. We just have to keep working at it.”  For Chelmsford (1-8), the worst season in recent memory continued, but head coach Bruce Rich was encouraged by the comeback. “We had a lot of positives tonight,” said Rich.

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Football, 11/07/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Christopher (3 TDs) race past Rangers in playoff opener

ANDOVER — Four touches is all Anthony Christopher needed to make a dominant playoff statement.
The running back scored touchdowns on three of his first four carries of the game — covering 103 yards — including the 59-yard burst to give Andover the lead for good as the No. 3 Golden Warriors cruised to a 55-25 victory over No. 6 Methuen in the quarterfinals of the Division 1 North tournament.
“You can only hope, but you certainly never think something like that is going to happen,” said Christopher. “We wanted to make a statement by coming out fast and hard and showing what we could do.”
The Golden Warriors (6-3) now move on to the Division 1 North semifinals to face their archrival, No. 2 seed Central Catholic on Friday at 7 p.m. at Lawrence Stadium. The Rangers (3-5), move to the consolation bracket.
“We can’t wait to take on Central,” said Christopher. “They beat us in the playoffs last year, and came into our stadium and beat us this season. We are ready to go out, play them and hopefully win.”
Andover started fast, as QB E.J. Perry IV hit Andrew Soucy for a 49-yard completion, then Christopher punched the ball in from 9 yards out for a 7-0 lead.
The Rangers responded two plays later, as receiver Kevin Denose took a handoff and broke free for a 50-yard touchdown run.
Christopher then gave Andover the lead right back, surging through the hole and going 59 yards untouched.
“I tried to stretch the play out as far as I could,” said the diminutive senior. “I made a cut and there was no stopping me from there.”
Methuen cut the lead to one point on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Kendrick Denose to Michael Bodenrader. But Christopher then made it a hat trick, this time scoring from 34 yards out.
“AC is our spark plug,” said Perry IV. “He explodes through the holes. When they allow a crease he just takes it and it is amazing some of the things he does.”
The offense then took a break as the Warriors added to their lead on a Soucy 38-yard punt return score and — in what could have been the play of the season — an interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Arman Koul.
“I was just kind of chilling in my zone,” said Koul, who also is the left tackle. “I saw the ball coming at me and it just kind of stuck to my gloves. After that there was no way I wasn’t going to get into the end zone. It was kind of in disbelief.”
With the defensive softened by Christopher, Perry IV and company went to work. The QB closed out the first half with a touchdown pass to Dan Gemmell, then closed out the scoring with TD passes to Soucy and Brandon Marti in the second half.
“We always know the passing game is going to be there,” said Koul, who in addition to his pick had a sack and eight tackles. “We know E.J. will throw the ball great and with guys like Gemmell and Soucy they will make plays.”
Brandon Marti also chipped in with an interception, and Perry IV had an interception return for a touchdown that was called back for a Warriors offsides.
Andover now knows it has its hands full with Central in the North semis.
“We are just thinking win,” said Soucy. “We want to beat them, and we think that we have the ability to do it.”

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Football, 10/31/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Haverhill wears down Methuen

METHUEN – Throughout the regular season, Haverhill coach Tim O’Connor has tasted just about every offering on the offensive menu.
Friday night at Nicholson Stadium, looking to lock down a spot in the Division 2 North playoffs, he chose the steak and potatoes – a toe-to-toe, double-wing, up-the-gut running attack.
The meat-grinder attack kept Methuen’s explosive playmakers off the field just long enough for the Hillies to pull out a 27-15 decision in a battle of 3-3 conference rivals.
“We looked across at them and saw some pretty tough matchups,” said O’Connor. “So the goal was to turn this one into a rock fight in a phone booth. And that’s what we did.”
Both teams will next head to the North sectional playoffs – Methuen in Division 1 and Haverhill in Division 2 – and each will likely be on the road.
With a 20-play, 97-yard march that devoured 11:05 on the clock, the Hillies grabbed a 7-0 lead midway through the second on Pedro Santiago’s 8-yard TD run. It was the first of three scores for the junior, who rushed for 100 yards on 20 carries before leaving late in the fourth after taking a helmet to the shins.
The lead went to 14-0 before the half, one that was dominated by the Hillies, not just on the scoreboard, but the stat sheet in plays (30-12), yards of offense (160-41) and time of possession (15:43-6:17).
All that quality work disappeared in an blur out of halftime.
Eddie Guzman’s interception put the Rangers in business at the Haverhill 27, and on a first-down flea-flicker, Kendrick Denose found an open Michael Bodenrader for a score.
Sophomore Peter Kwakye turned in a special-teams gem, scooping up the Ranger onside kick in stride and Methuen was on the move again at Haverhill’s 34.
Brian McAndrew broke off runs of 5 and 23 yards, followed by Denose, who would not be denied, scoring from the six. Methuen went bonkers as Bodenrader hit Nick Ramirez on one more piece of razzle-dazzle for the two-pointer.
Just 2:47 into the third it was 15-14 Rangers.
“We just couldn’t keep that going,” said Methuen coach Tom Ryan.
Haverhill, whose three losses are to Billerica, Central and Mansfield (they are a combined 18-3), responded.
The Hillies went 69 yards on 10 rushes and one huge Broghean McGovern chain-moving connection on 4th-and-8 to Santiago, grabbing the lead for good on a 9-yard plunge late in the third.
Down 20-15, Methuen moved it well, but was turned away once on a Jake Dionne interception and another time on downs at the Hillies 15.
J.C. LaGuerre, trying to run out the clock, added an insurance TD in the final minute with a 43-yard dash, giving the Hillie junior a game-high 166 yards on 19 carries.
“We’re right there,” said Ryan. “We’re a little banged up and I’m just so proud of the way this team keeps battling.”
It looks like at 3-4, the Rangers could be staring at a playoff opener with St. John’s Prep or Central Catholic.
“Whoever it is, we’re going to show up and we’re going to fight,” said Ryan.
Santiago’s late injury is the latest in a long line for Haverhill, which played last night without starting linemen Elias Gaetano and Ryan Panici among others.
O’Connor is hoping both will be back for what could be a playoff opener with Reading or Newton South, a pair of teams the Hillies disposed of last year in the postseason.
Haverhill 27, Methuen 15
Haverhill (4-3): 0 14  6 7 — 27
Methuen (3-4): 0  0 15 0 — 15
Second Quarter
H — Pedro Santiago 8 run (Cameron Lynch kick) 6:35
H — Santiago 13 run (Lynch kick) 1:59
Third Quarter
M — Michael Bodenrader 24 pass from Kendrick Denose (Jordan Perdomo kick) 9:27
M — Kendrick Denose 6 run (Bodenrader to Nick Ramirez pass) 8:13
H — Santiago 9 run (rush failed) 1:59
Fourth Quarter
H — J.C. LaGuerre 43 run (Lynch kick) :45
RUSHING: Haverhill (50-297) — Luc Chretien 11-31, Pedro Santiago 20-100, J.C. Laguerre 19-166; Methuen (24-116) — Brian McAndrew 12-63, Kendrick Denose 9-25, Kevin Denose 3-28
PASSING: Haverhill, LaGuerre 1-1-0, 11; Broghean McGovern 1-2-1, 12; Methuen, Kendrick Denose 7-15-1, 104
RECEIVING: Haverhill, McGovern 1-11, Santiago 1-12; Methuen, McAndrew 3-28, Bodenrader 3-38, Nick Ramirez 1-28, Kevin Denose 1-10

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Football, 10/24/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Denose heroics save Methuen

METHUEN — Both the Methuen and North Andover punters got the night off Friday. And so, for that matter, did both defenses, at least for much of the 44 minutes of play. But the offenses were in overdrive, combining for a whopping 918 total yards, led by a stupendous performance by Methuen quarterback Kendrick Denose. With North Andover standouts Jukka Morales and Ryan Good knocked out of the game with injuries in the fourth quarter, Denose was the last star standing and the difference in a huge 35-34 Merrimack Valley Conference win for the resurgent Rangers. With the victory, Methuen improved to 3-3, including 3-1 in the MVC. The Rangers are right in the playoff hunt pending a visit next week from Haverhill (also 3-3, 3-1). Denose finished a spectacular night with 259 yards rushing on 29 carries, caught a throwback pass for 28 yards and completed 3 of 4 passes for 36 yards, thus accounting for 323 total yards. “It’s about time people start recognizing what a great player he is,” said Methuen coach Tommy Ryan. “This has to go down as one of the all-time performances in Methuen history.” One of Denose’s shorter runs was one of his most important when, late in the game, he scrambled for 11 yards to secure the final first down and deny the Knights a last gasp at coming back again. The Knights had already come back once. Trailing 35-28 in the fourth quarter, with Morales and Good both out of the lineup, Seamus Lambert connected with Connor Walsh on a 70-yard bomb to bring North Andover within one point with 2:11 to play. The Knights then elected to go for two points, but Bryce Smith and Trevor Abdallah combined to bring down Joe Samuelman to preserve the one-point lead. “I would have gone for two at that point, too, because they couldn’t stop us,” said Ryan. “We kind of gambled on defense and it worked out.” Until that run, Samuelman had been one of several pretty much unstoppable backs, rushing for 143 yards on seven carries and scoring on runs of 58 and 74 yards. Only the performance of Morales could top that for the Knights (3-3, 1-3). Morales scored on a 73-yard run on the very first offensive play of the game and, on North Andover’s next possession, went 54 yards for a TD on his second carry. He finished with 185 yards on just seven carries before going down with a hamstring injury on the final play of the third quarter. His status for next week is uncertain. For Methuen, Brian McAndrew complemented Denose with 110 yards rushing on 22 carries and he helped the Rangers run out the clock in the final two minutes. “This was one of the best wins I’ve had here,” said Ryan. “But if we play defense like that, we’re not going to win many more games. We’ve got to do better than that.” The same sentiment is probably shared by North Andover.

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Football, 10/17/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

McAndrew, Rangers hold off Lawrence

LAWRENCE — Methuen didn’t make it easy on itself, but it walked out of Lawrence Stadium with a 27-21 win over Lawrence Friday night in front of a rowdy crowd on homecoming. Lawrence took a 6-0 lead on the game’s opening drive but the momentum soon swung in Methuen’s favor. The Rangers took a 7-6 lead with 3:39 left in the first quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, Angel Abreu collected Jordan Perdomo’s kick at his own 12 and sprinted 63 yards to the Methuen 25 before he fumbled the wet ball making a cut, and it was recovered by the Rangers. Methuen didn’t score after recovering — Perdomo hit the upright on a 38-yard field goal try — but it allowed the Rangers to eat up a huge chunk of the clock. Methuen had possession for 14 of the game’s 22 minutes in the first half. “We started to feel the momentum come our way after we scored,” said Methuen head coach Tom Ryan. “Then after the fumble, even though we didn’t really cause it and we didn’t score, to get the ball back there helped settle us down.” Michael Bodenrader completed a fake punt earlier in the half to keep a drive alive. With 22 seconds left in the second quarter he hauled in a halfback option pass from Brian McAndrew to extend the Ranger lead to 14-6. Then just 2:08 into the third quarter, McAndrew was at it again. The senior took a short pass from Kendrick Denose and hustled 46 yards for a score to give the Rangers a comfortable 21-6 lead. “He’s sort of our Mr. Everything,” Ryan said. “He’s a receiver, he’s our backup quarterback, he’s just a gym rat. He made a nice play on the fake punt and that kept a drive alive. We need guys like him playing the way he did.” Methuen would need some of that cushion after the Lancers drove 70 yards on eight plays, capping off the drive when Eddie Cabrera dove to catch a pass from Ismael Jenkins in the end zone. On the conversion, Jenkins hit Abreu in the corner of the end zone to make it 21-14. After forcing a pair of three-and-outs, Lawrence was driving late in the game down just one touchdown but the Methuen defense held the Lancers on fourth down at their own 15. Kendrick Denose then added even more insurance with an 83-yard touchdown run. It was a good thing, because Lawrence again drove down field, with Jenkins hitting Eddie Cabrera for a 71-yard touchdown strike with just 1:26 left. However the Rangers recovered an onside kick attempt to end the ballgame. “We have some things we need to work on for sure,” Ryan said. “A win is a win, but we’re going to need to play a lot cleaner to beat a team like North Andover. This is still a really good Lawrence team that never quits, and I know that this place is a tough place to come in and play so it’s good to get a win here.” Lawrence targeted Eagle-Tribune All-Star receiver Luis Crispin eight times, but the Rangers defense held him to just two catches for 35 yards, double-teaming him most of the night.

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Football, 10/09/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Methuen falls to Billerica

Methuen football couldn't get anything going on Friday, losing to unbeaten Billerica 42-15. Billerica received the ball first and proceeded to control the ball for nearly the entire quarter, driving 77 yards on 16 plays while running 10:06 off the clock before Justin Beck scampered in on an 11-yard rush to make it 7-0. The Indians extended their lead to 14-0 on a 1-yard touchdown by Drew Laundry following a Methuen pass interference penalty on fourth and long, and just before halftime Beck found Jeff Trainor for a 30-yard touchdown to make it 21-0 going into halftime. Methuen got on the board early in the third after quarterback Kendrick Denose escaped for a 77-yard touchdown, but Billerica responded with an 8-play, 66-yard drive capped off by another 1-yard touchdown by Laundry. Then, Beck found Trainor for an 8-yard touchdown pass to make it 35-7, and after the subs came in, the Indians got one last 1-yard touchdown from Herby Pierre. Methuen is now 1-3 and is at Lawrence next Friday 7 p.m.

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Football, 10/02/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Malden beats Methuen in final minute

MALDEN — Malden scored on a 14-yard gimmick pass on a 4th-and-7 with 30 seconds left to pin a heartbreaking 37-35 loss on Methuen. The Rangers had battled back from 10 down in the fourth quarter of their opener but a gamble backfired. Methuen had racked up approximately 400 yards on the ground but couldn’t get six inches when it needed to. Coach Tom Ryan elected to go for it on fourth down and less than a foot on the Ranger 30 with about two minutes left. That set up the hosts with a short field and they capitalized. “If you can’t get 6 inches, you don’t deserve to win,” said Ryan. Of the winning TD pass, Ryan said, “It was a flop pass. The (receiver) pretends to flop. They have to throw across the field. The defense we had in wasn’t conducive to defending the play.” Brian McAndrew, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Game 2 last fall, rushed for about 200 yards and scored four touchdowns. He scored a 75-yarder in the fourth then the go-ahead score on a 5-yard run with five minutes to play. In the fourth, Eric Rosario had an interception and Chris Saba recovered a fumble to fuel the Ranger comeback. Methuen will christen the renovated Nicholson Stadium Friday when the Rangers host Andover at 7 p.m.

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Football, 09/11/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars