Haverhill Hillies Football '16

McGovern, Hillies cap brilliant 9-2 season; best season in 80 years

LOWELL – Lowell High went for the immediate kill shot, looking to sap the life out of Haverhill quickly with a double-reverse, flea-flicker for a 65-yard TD on the game’s opening play.
The 2016 Hillies are far too talented and way too resilient to let a tiny 7-0 deficit alter their course.
Set on making history, Haverhill High did just that, pounding the host Red Raiders, 64-36, to finish the school’s best football season in the modern era at 9-2.
The last 9-win season by the Hillies? You’d have to go all the way back to the 9-0 championship team in 1936. 
The Merrimack Valley Conference champs swept through the large division at 5-0, the dominant force in the league from Day 1 in September to yesterday’s finale.
“It’s been a great year, and I’m proud of the kids,” said coach Tim O’Connor, whose club lost only the season opener to St. John’s Prep and a Division 1 North playoff game to Everett. “We didn’t reach the ultimate goal, but Haverhill 9-2 compared to (32 straight losses from 2008-10)? I will take it.”
O’Connor’s crew featured 22 senior starters, and it felt like every one of them had an impact, starting with the QB and his receivers.
Broghean McGovern made it look easy through the air, hitting 11 of 15 passes for 295 yards and six scores.
“I have the best receiving corps in the state, and I mean that,” said the three-year starter.
Jukka Morales caught TDs of 51, 37 and 49 yards to lead the way. Aaron Brooks struck with touchdowns of 8 and 57 yards, while Teshaun Watson had the other, a four-yarder on 4th-and-goal on the Hillies’ opening possession.
But the heroes were everywhere.
McGovern (14 carries, 181 yards, 2 TDs) and J.C. Laguerre (19-89, 2 TDs) worked the read-option to perfection.
Ryan Panici, Josh Gendron and Mason Wilkins anchored a monster effort up front on the offensive line. Defensively, Elias Gaetano, Jason Tufts and Jacob Dion laid the lumber and made big plays. No play was bigger than defensive tackle Kirk Murray’s end-zone interception that thwarted Lowell on the final possession of the first half.
Haverhill made it two straight Turkey Day wins over Lowell and closed out this year with three straight victories following the playoff disappointment against Everett.
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Football, 11/24/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Five interceptions fuel Haverhill

PEABODY — From the night of its heartbreaking tournament loss to Everett, Haverhill football set one goal for the rest of 2016, to finish the season 9-2.

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Football, 11/13/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Watson, Hillies bounce back

ACTON — Haverhill football was already furious over the memory of last week’s Division 1 North tourney loss to Everett.

When Acton-Boxboro marched down the field for a touchdown on the opening drive on Friday night, the Hillies were simply enraged.

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Football, 11/04/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Everett lands early knockout punch on Hillies

HAVERHILL — On the first play from scrimmage, Everett’s Christopher Jenkins took the handoff, bounced to the left, evaded a tackler, broke 29 yards into enemy territory before he was brought down, got up and let the Haverhill defense hear it before joining his teammates in the huddle.

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Football, 10/31/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

MVC Division 1 champs! Hillies reign in rain

HAVERHILL — Chants of “MVC, MVC, MVC” rained down from both the Haverhill postgame huddle as well as the soaked fans in the stands as the players raised their helmets in triumph.
Haverhill (6-1) had just came off a convincing 34-6 win over conference foe Lawrence (0-7), improving the Hillies to a perfect 4-0 in the league and sealing the Merrimack Valley Division 1 crown outright.
The Hillies now have five straight winning seasons, which the program has not done since 1971-75. There other recent titles were in 2014 (MVC 2) and 2001 (one division then, quad-champ, won coin flip for playoff berth). Those are the only titles since Haverhill, a longtime member of the Greater Boston League, joined the MVC for the 1980 season.
“It feels really good,” said a beaming Teshaun Watson, “You know we put in a lot of work this year and it feels great to see that hard work pay off.”
Watson led the Hillies Friday night with 85 yards on six carries and two touchdowns. After having season-ending surgery as a junior last year, the senior Watson transferred from North Andover to Haverhill before the school year.
“Coming from North Andover they welcomed me here with open arms,” said a smiling Watson. “It’s like a family here. I’m winning with my brothers and nothing feels better than that. Hopefully we can keep going to the end.”
Haverhill had a great day defensively, holding Lawrence to only 42 yards of total offense minus sacks. The Hillies had four sacks Friday, one from Mason Ocasio while Cam MacDonald recorded another.
“We knew (Lawrence) was young up front,” said Haverhill coach Tim O’Connor. “So we took advantage of our senior leadership and really put the pressure on them early and were able to keep it up until halftime.”
After Haverhill forced a stop on defense to start the game, Watson capped off an 12-play, 69-yard drive with a 1-yard rush. Quarterback Broghean McGovern added a 13-yard TD rush early in the second quarter, and then used his arm to find Jukka Morales on a nice deep ball for a 70-yard pass. On Lawrence’s first play on its next drive, a fumble was picked up by MacDonald and returned for another score.
Up 28-0 at the half, Watson broke off a 65-yard rush on the second play of the third quarter.
Lawrence got on the board late when Miguel Camacho hit Kelvin Ynfante for an 11-yard pass at the end of the game. Dylan Montanez made a couple of great catches for the Lancers, finishing with 50 receiving yards on three catches.
Haverhill will host a playoff game next Friday, but the opponent will not be known until Sunday.
“Hopefully we can take it all the way, but we need to take it playoff game by playoff game,” said Watson. “We’ve progressed a lot during the regular season and are seeing that with each win. It feels good, but we got to keep it up in the playoffs.”
Haverhill 34, Lawrence 6
Lawrence (0-7):     0  0 0 6 —  6
Haverhill (6-1):     6 22 6 0 — 34
First Quarter
 H — Teshaun Watson 1 run (kick blocked), 2:31
Second Quarter
 H — Broghean McGovern 13 run (Jake Dion run), 9:30
 H — Jukka Morales 70 pass from McGovern (Dion run), 6:32
 H — Cam MacDonald 15 fumble return (kick failed), 6:13
Third Quarter
 H — Watson 65 run (kick failed), 9:43
Fourth Quarter
 L — Kelvin Ynfante 11 pass from Miguel Camacho, :10
RUSHING: HAVERHILL (23-195): Teshaun Watson 6-85, Pedro Santiago 5-47, Broghean McGovern 5-35, J.C. Laguerre 4-22, Kyle Connors 3-6; LAWRENCE (20-(-36)): Miguel Camacho 4-1, Randy Reyes 5-(-3), Brandon Santell 1-(-3), Anthony Garcia 4-(-10), Ronny Pena 6-(-21)
PASSING: H — Broghean McGovern 3-4-0, 87; L — Ronny Pena 3-8-0, 42, Miguel Camacho 2-3-0, 36
RECEIVING: H — Jukka Morales 2-73, Ivan DelaRosa 1-14; L — Dylan Montanez 3-50, Camacho 1-17, Kelvin Ynfante 1-11

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Football, 10/25/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Haverhill rolls over Andover, takes control of MVC D1

HAVERHILL — One week ago, following the program’s biggest victory in modern history, Haverhill celebrated as if it had won the Super Bowl.

Seven days later, the Hillies were all business after locking down a second straight victory over the Merrimack Valley Conference’s two premiere powers.

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Football, 10/14/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Haverhill makes statement with first win over Central Catholic since 2004

HAVERHILL — Jason Tufts, the 240-pound bearded mountain of a man, was reduced to tears as he stood near the Haverhill logo at the 50-yard line looking into the sky.

“I’m at a loss for words,” Tufts said as he wiped his eyes clear.  “I told everyone not to count us out. I grew up in Haverhill and my brothers were on the teams that were 0-11 and 0-12, but here we are now. Amazing!”

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Football, 10/07/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Laguerre’s huge day leads Haverhill past Methuen

METHUEN — J.C. Laguerre had already run for 132 yards and a touchdown, but as halftime arrived the Haverhill senior’s mind was focused on the fumble that allowed Methuen to cut his team’s lead to one score.

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Football, 09/30/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Haverhill downs Westford

HAVERHILL – Late downpours rendered both offenses one-dimensional as the forward pass was basically useless in the second half.
Of course, Haverhill High’s running game is as multi-faceted as any and the Hillies capitalized on their explosiveness with a pair of long second-half TD runs to douse the Grey Ghosts of Westford Academy, 20-9.
“We have a lot of cats out here,” said Hillie QB Broghean McGovern of the myriad weapons at his disposal. “We really have something special.”
Jake Dion scooted left for 52 yards, and following a Ghost fumble on the ensuing kick, Pedro Santiago rocketed 39 yards around the right end, turning a 9-6 deficit into a 20-9 lead in a matter of just 33 seconds, early in the third.
With the win, Haverhill moves to 2-1 and is sure to spike again in the state polls as Westford was a respected foe around Eastern Mass.
“It was on the linemen (when the rain came). We went in to half time and told them it was all on them,” said McGovern. “They pushed the pile and we got it going. They’re a wild group. They love getting dirty in there.”
Aaron Brooks took a McGovern swing pass and accelerated past the defense in a 50-yard dash to paydirt. The 6-3 advantage was one the Hillies would take to halftime where the skies unleashed their fury.
The Hillies defense seemed quite at home on the wet turf, holding Westford in check over the final 21:14.
Josh Gendron had a big night with a pair of sacks to lead the way up front.
McGovern oozed the confidence of a four-year varsity starter. A cool customer, he took a wobbly punt snap inside his end zone on 4th-and-3 from the 10 and raced for the left sideline. His on-the-go fake punt call netted a gain of 25 and pulled the Hillies out of deep trouble in the fourth.
“It was a loose snap, the ball was wet,” said McGovern. “I saw the corner, and I just bobbled it. There’s no looking back after you start running the ball on that. I just had to get that first down, I wouldn’t call it making a play by myself. It was just a broken play turned good.”
Haverhill 20, Westford Academy 9
Westford Academy:     3 0  6 0 —  9
Haverhill (2-1):     6 0 14 0 — 20
First Quarter
 W — Eric Jacobsen 30 field goal, 2:50
 H — Aaron Brooks 50 pass from Broghean McGovern (kick wide) :08.9
Third Quarter
 W — Alex Antes 3 run (kick wide) 10:14
 H — Jake Dion 52 run (kick good) 9:37
 H — Pedro Santiago 39 run (kick good) 9:04
RUSHING: HAVERHILL (30-247) — J.C. LaGuerre 15-82, Pedro Santiago 4-54; Teshaun Watson 1-0, Broghean McGovern 7-54, Jacob Dion 3-56
PASSING: HAVERHILL — Broghean McGovern 5-8-0, 68
RECEIVING: HAVERHILL — Jason Tufts 1-9, Aaron Brooks 1-50, Jukka Morales 2-5, LaGuerre 1-4

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Football, 09/23/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars