Haverhill Hillies Football '18

Central rolls past Haverhill

HAVERHILL — Central Catholic may have returned just three starters this fall, but the goal for the regular season remained clear.
“Our goal is always to hang an (MVC Division 1) championship banner in the gym,” said Raiders QB Jared Silverio. “We want to do it every year. So it’s huge to go out and earn a big win tonight.”
Central Catholic took care of business on Friday, surging past Haverhill 41-0 in its regular season finale. 
The win sends the Raiders (5-2) into the postseason hot — winners of four straight — and clinches at least a share of the MVC Division 1 title. They just need a victory over winless Lawrence on Thanksgiving to take the title on their own.
“It’s a big accomplishment for us,” said senior Cam Boes. “And it feels great to get a good win today. We were ready. We marched down and scored a couple of quick touchdowns, and that was huge.”
Central wasted no time taking control.
The Raiders forced a three-and-out to start the game, then marched 76 yards and Silverio barreled in from 6 yards out for a score. 
Central then forced another three-and-out, and the Raiders’ other QB —Aidan Gordon — found Shaun Morgan, who tip-toed the sidelines and broke away for a 45-yard score.
 “We were feeling good going into the night,” said Silverio. “It was big to score quick. The defense had a few big stops, and we put points on the board early.”
The Raiders kept rolling from there. Two possessions later, Silverio took a keep, dodged three defenders and ran in from 24 yards out for a TD. And with 1:53 until halftime Silverio threw a jump pass for a 3-yard score to Nick Donatio.
Silverio completed his big day with a 10-yard touchdown strike to Boes on the first possession of the second half. Jared Gillis capped the scoring with a 3-yard run.
“Our offense really played well,” said Boes. “Jared threw some great passes and our line was protecting him really well. I think we are playing our best offense right now.”
While the offense was rolling, Central’s defense was even better. 
The Raiders limited Haverhill to just 59 yards and two first downs for the game. Central’s Joe Howshan, who had battled a groin injury, intercepted a pass and appeared to recover a fumble on back-to-back possessions.
Mark Kassis and Anthony Caggianelli combined on a sack early for the Raiders, and Ryan Finneran added a sack later.
“We were prepared for their offense,” said Boes. “Our line kept their offensive line off the backers, and everyone else was flying around making plays.”
The Raiders now wait to see who they will take on in the first round of the Division 1 North tournament. 
“I think we are hitting our stride at the right time,” said Boes. “Our last three games we have really come together, and we feel ready for the playoffs.”
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Football, 10/19/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Santoro sparks Haverhill to win over Andover

HAVERHILL —  Joe Santoro saw the ball in the air, and the Haverhill linebacker struck.
“I saw the receiver run a hitch and Brandon Grundy tipped the ball in the air,” said Santoro. “All I had to do was catch it and put it in the end zone. It felt great.”
After a sluggish start, Santoro’s 8-yard pick-6 late in the second quarter was just the spark Haverhill needed. It was all Hillies in the second half, as they scored on three straight possessions on the way to a 24-3 victory over Haverhill at Trinity Stadium.
“This feels amazing,” said offensive lineman Ryan McCartney. “We worked very hard going into this game. Andover beat us pretty bad last year (43-26). We pulled together and got a good win tonight.”
The win was the second in three seasons for the Hillies (3-2) over Andover (1-3). 
“I thought we played a complete game tonight,” said Haverhill coach Tim O’Connor. “We were outside for an hour and a half on Thursday in the pouring rain working on stuff. We did the little things and I’m proud of them.”
Haverhill started slow with three straight 3-and-outs and a turnover on downs. 
But with 3:59 left until halftime, Santoro stepped up, grabbing the tipped pass and sprinting in from 8 yards out. 
“That was a huge play,” said McCartney. “That really got the team up. We were really excited after that and got going on offense.”
The score was some sweet redemption for Santoro. A month ago, he made his first career interception against Chelmsford, but was caught and tackled at the 1-yard line.
“It’s good to get into the end zone after what happened last tine,” said Santoro with a laugh. “I think it gave the team a boost. We didn’t have a lot of spark on offense, and I think that got us going.”
Andover opened the second half with a Shamus Florio 31-yard field goal. But Haverhill responded with a Sergio Martinez 29-yard field goal.
The Hillies then kicked an onside kick and Matt Maginnis recovered. Two plays later Brady Skafas found Dante Cadeus for a 33-yard touchdown. 
Haverhill then recovered another short kick, and Skafas finished off a six-play drive with a 1-yard QB sneak for a score.
The Hillies allowed Andover’s offense to run just 10 plays in the second half, limiting the Golden Warriors to 57 yards after halftime. That after Andover back Tommy Duncan ran for 103 yards on 16 carries in the first half. 
Santoro led Haverhill with 10 tackles, while Grundy added eight tackles Sam Prescott intercepted a pass. 
“Our linebackers were filling and our safeties and corners were covering really well,” said Santoro. “And we were getting pressure to the QB. It felt great to beat Andover at home.”
Haverhill now faces Central Catholic. An upset could create a crowded tie atop the MVC Division 1 standings.
“I’m glad Central is coming here and we don’t have to go to them,” said O’Connor. “We are both junior-heavy teams. It’s exciting. We’ll see how it plays out.”
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Football, 10/12/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Prescott, Haverhill defense stifle Lawrence

HAVERHILL - You'd be right to forgive Haverhill's Sam Prescott if he was a little off during Saturday's game.

After all, the senior took his SATs in the morning, and then suited up to take on rival Lawrence just a couple of hours later.

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Football, 10/06/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Bigger than football: Methuen's last-minute TD clinches thriller over grieving Haverhill

METHUEN - As Nicholson Stadium's clock read :01, everyone on the Haverhill sideline looked up to the heavens searching for their guardian angel one more time.

The ball was spotted at the Methuen 20-yard-line. Trailing 28-24, the Hillies needed a touchdown.

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Football, 09/28/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Haverhill builds big lead, holds on

HAVERHILL — Haverhill coach Tim O’Connor wrapped up the Hillies’ 28-21 victory over Westford in true Gertrude Stein fashion Friday night.

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Football, 09/23/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars