Andover Golden Warriors Football '18

North Andover, Andover

ANDOVER — Cold, wind and ice all presented late November obstacles here at Lovely Field on Wednesday night.
North Andover High’s speed and explosiveness negated them all.
The unbeaten Scarlet Knights rolled up a 28-0 halftime lead, sent the starters to the bench in the second half and finished off rival Andover High, 41-27. 
North Andover moves to 11-0 on the year, evens the Turkey Day series with the Golden Warriors at 2-2 and now, after a day to feast with the family, can set its sights on King Philip Regional and the Nov. 30 Division 2 state championship at Gillette Stadium.
“Come out, put points on the board, get out healthy and get ready for the next game. That was the plan,” said Darren Watson, following his three-touchdown night.
For the most part, North Andover did just that, although some gritty play from Andover, plus some creative onside kick work by Shamus Florio forced the Knights’ starters back on the field after thinking their night was complete.
The outcome in this one was clear early.
“Their speed was very evident, and you can see why they’re so good,” said Andover coach E.J. Perry, whose club finished at 3-7. “We gave up three big plays on special teams to them, and that was the difference. You just can’t do that against a team like that.”
Fourth down simply was not Andover’s friend.
On the Knights’ opening drive, facing a 4th-and-4, Jake McElroy got things started with a 25-yard TD pass to Watson.
Andover went three-and-out, then on fourth, Gabe DeSouza hauled in a punt and dashed 82 yards on the return. In a blink, it was 14-0.
Another Warrior punt, and this time it was Watson, speeding 88 yards to paydirt.
“We haven’t had any kind of returns for touchdowns this year,” laughed Watson. “Gabe was calling for me to reverse but I thought I saw something.”
What Watson saw was a patch of green and ultimately the end zone.
The final fateful fourth down wasn’t a score, but it set up the fourth TD of the first half, just before the intermission.
On fourth-and-10 on his own 41, DeSouza, from punt formation, chose to tuck it and run, racing 31 yards down the left sideline.
Four plays later, Freddy Gabin got into the act, with a 13-yard TD.
The dominance continued into the third when McElroy hit Ryan Slattery for 4 yards and a 34-0 lead.
That sent the regulars to the bench.
Andover wasn’t done, though.
Freshman QB Victor Harrington (13-34, 266 yards, 4 TDs) and the Warriors got on the board late in the third with a 65-yard strike to senior Nick Zalanskas.
Harrington would add a 9-yarder to Zalanskas and a 30-yard hookup with Brendon Moody, slicing the margin to 34-21 and forcing the Knight regulars back into action.
A Watson 12-yard interception return for touchdown finally put it away, although Zalanskas did catch his third score with a minute to play, allowing for the final margin.
The senior ended his career in style with seven catches for 126 yards.
“Zalanskas was excellent, and I was impressed with Harrington again,” said Perry. “Under the pressure and stress in a game like this, the freshman handled himself well He’s the real deal. Now, we need him to keep working harder and improving his game.”
Watson caught seven passes for 117 yards on the night, and McElroy finished his performance at 10 of 18 for 141 yards. Defensively, the Knights made big plays when they had to with Steven Ferullo and Mike Roche splitting three sacks evenly. Thomas Vance had an interception.

North Andover 41, Andover 27
No Andover (11-0) 21-7-6-7 — 41
Andover (3-7) 0-0-7-20 — 27

First Quarter
NA — Darren Watson 25 pass from Jake McElroy (Gabe DeSouza kick) 7:56
NA — DeSouza 82 punt return (Gabe DeSouza kick) 4:45
NA — Watson 88 punt return (Gabe DeSouza kick) 2:46
Second Quarter
NA — Freddy Gabin 13 run (Gabe DeSouza kick) 1:10
Third Quarter
NA — Ryan Slattery 4 pass from Jake McElroy (kick blocked) 2:02
AND — Nick Zalanskas 65 pass from Victor Harrington (Shamus Florio kick) 1:06
Fourth Quarter
AND — Nick Zalanskas 9 pass from Victor Harrington (Shamus Florio kick) 8:46
AND — Brendon Moody 30 pass from Victor Harrington (Shamus Florio kick) 3:56
NA — Darren Watson 12 interception return (Gabe DeSouza kick) 2:29
AND — Nick Zalanskas 3 pass from Victor Harrington (Shamus Florio kick) 1:19

Statistical Leaders
NORTH ANDOVER: Darren Watson 2-6, Freddy Gabin 9-32, Jake McElroy 4-60, Gabe DeSouza 1-31
ANDOVER: Tommy Duncan 7-34

NORTH ANDOVER: Jake McElroy 10-18-2, 141
ANDOVER: Victor Harrington 13-34-2, 266

NORTH ANDOVER: Watson 7-117, Slattery 1-4, Matt Chicko 1-7, DeSouza 1-13
ANDOVER: Zalanskas 7-126, Moody 3-95, John Gemmell 2-41, Duncan 1-4
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Football, 11/21/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Consistency plagues Andover

ANDOVER — Consistency, which has plagued the Andover football team all season, proved to be a problem once again Friday night against Billerica.

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Football, 11/10/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Tavares leads inspired Andover defense

ANDOVER — Tommy Duncan ran for two scores and Victor Harrington threw touchdown aerials to Brendon Moody (63 yards) and Nick Zalanskas (2 yards) as Andover won its non-playoff matchup with Winchester, 27-14. Andover (3-5) got 158 of its 159 rushing yards from Duncan. Andover had probably its best defensive game of the season as Winchester was limited to the two TDs, the second on the final play of the game. Defensive passes Dennis Tavares had five passes defended, Kelvin Davila intercepted a pass and linebackers Phil Menihtas and Michael Slayton both payed inspired game.

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Football, 11/02/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover falls to Everett

EVERETT — No. 8 Andover fell behind early, and could not recover in a 41-14 loss to top-seeded Everett in the Division 1 North first round on Friday. It was a rematch of the 2016 Division 1 North final.

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Football, 10/26/18 » 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

Bryant, Correa TD with 40 seconds left gives Methuen dramatic win

 ANDOVER — With the clock ticking under a minute to play in the game and Methuen trailing by three, Rangers QB Connor Bryant dropped back and saw Wesley Correa flying down the field.
“Wesley is one of my favorite guys to throw to,” said Bryant. “I knew when I threw it he was going to catch it and score. I just knew that’s how the game was going to end.”
Bryant lofted a perfect pass to Correa, who caught it at the 2-yard line and waltzed into the end zone to give Methuen its first lead of the game with 40 seconds left in regulation.
A last-second Andover pass fell short and the Rangers earned a thrilling 20-14 comeback victory over the Golden Warriors Friday night.
“This feels amazing,” said Correa. “As soon as I scored I thought we won the game. This was the first touchdown of my varsity career, and it meant the world to me to do it for the team. To beat Andover like this is crazy.”
With the game on the line with 0:53 left, Correa knew the ball was coming his way when the play was called.
“I knew I was getting the ball,” said Correa. “I was excited. I just stayed focused and kept my eyes on the ball. I had to catch it. Connor made a perfect throw over the safety and cornerback and right into my hands.”
Once Bryant saw Correa open, he knew what to do.
“I looked right to Wesley and saw him break off that post,” said Bryant. “I threw it right over the safety and I knew it was going to be a touchdown. I saw the clock was at 40 seconds and I knew we were going to win the game.”
Methuen still needed one more stop, and Anthony Romano and Aaron Searth delivered, crashing through the line to sack Andover QB Victor Harrington.
The Golden Warriors had one last pass, but a short completion was brought down by a group of Rangers as the clock expired.
“I knew our defense would give us the last stop,” said Bryant. “I knew they would end it and win the game .”
It didn’t look early like Methuen would end the game in celebration.
Andover led 14-0 at halftime thanks to a Tommy Duncan 15-yard TD run and a Harrington 59-yard touchdown pass to Brendon Moody. 
The Golden Warrior defense was also flexing some muscle. Duncan intercepted three passes in the first half, and Kelvin Davila added another pick.
“We had a tough first half,” said Bryant. “Too many mental mistakes. But at halftime we cleaned a lot of them up.”
Methuen finally broke through with 4:01 left in the third, as Bryant found Caleb Adams for a score.
Andover answered with a Shamus Florio field goal, but the Rangers struck right back on the first play of their next drive when Bryant hit Kareem Coleman for a 78-yard score.
With time running out, Andover drove to the Methuen 36 and seemed poised to run out the clock.
But the ball was knocked out and Ranger Liam Gilmore recovered a fumble with 2:07 left. Eight plays later, Bryant found Correa to ice the dramatic finish.
“This means everything,” said Correa. “This is a huge win. We’re 4-1 now, and we want to keep it going.”
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Football, 10/05/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover, Lawrence

Frosh Harrington perfect in Andover win



ANDOVER – Victory Harrington had a tough varsity debut on the road. Making things a little tougher on his young psyche, the Andover freshman had a couple weeks to dwell on the performance before returning to the field Friday night.
“It did keep me awake thinking about it,” Harrington said of throwing four interceptions in a loss to Franklin. “I was nervous about that last night, but then I came here ready to play and the team got it done.”
With both teams forced to sit out Week 2 because of the gas-explosion disaster that upended both communities, Andover and Lawrence finally got back to playing. The visiting Lancers kept things close for most of the opening half, but with Harrington completing all 11 of his passes, the Golden Warriors ran away with a 38-14 MVC victory.
“We just came back ready to fight,” said Harrington, who threw for 125 yards to six receivers and his first two career touchdowns. “Everything was much slower, so I could pick up the game more. Everything’s getting better every week. But you’re only as good as your next (game).”
Andover (1-1) took an early lead on a Josh Ramos 14-yard run, but Lawrence rebounded to cut the deficit to 7-6 on a bullish Brandon Santell 14-yard power run with 4:06 remaining in the second quarter.
The Golden Warriors, however, exploded for 21 points during a 51-second  stretch to blow open the game.
Ramos, who had 120 yards on 12 carries, capped a 63-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown with 1:05 remaining. That’s when the defense took over.
Tommy Duncan returned an interception for a touchdown with 53 seconds left. Then one play after a Nic Silva pick, Harrington recorded his first touchdown, drilling a 35-yard pass to Brendon Moody on a post route to provide a 28-6 lead with 16 left before intermission.
Harrington finished off his perfect outing with 14-yard pass to John Gemmell with another slick throw early in the third. Shamus Florio gave Andover a 38-6 lead with a 20-yard fourth-quarter field goal.
“We just needed to clean things up,” Andover coach E.J. Perry said of rebounding from the opening loss. “We have young guys playing, and they stepped up tonight. (Harrington) just needed the two weeks. We played very soon for him. I knew what he had, and I knew what he was going to do.
“When you saw him settle in, you know it was very good. For a freshman to do what he’s doing at the quarterback position, that’s poise and composure. I don’t care who you’re playing against.”
Lawrence (0-2) finished the night’s scoring with a 14-yard pass from Jacob Tamayo to Manuel Lara. Tamayo overcame his pair of interceptions, finishing with 154 yards of total offense.
“We’re working on things like composure and learning the games. There are little things that we’re still learning about the game. I was proud of the way they came out and battled tonight”
Andover 38, Lawrence 14

Lawrence (0-2)  0   6   0   8  -  14
Andover (1-1)  7   21   7   3  —  38

First Quarter
AND –Josh Ramos 14 run (Shamus Florio kick) 5:40

Second Quarter
LAW – Brandon Santell 14 run (run failed) 4:06
AND – Ramos 6 run (Florio kick) 1:05
AND – Tommy Duncan 47 interception return (Florio kick) 0:53
LAW – Brendon Moody 35 pass from Victor Harrington (Florio kick) 0:16
Third quarter
AND – John Gemmell 14 pass from Harrington (Florio kick) 7:02
Fourth quarter
AND – FG Florio 20
LAW – Manual Lara 14 pass from Jacob Tamayo (Santell run) 5:45


Rushing: LAW (15-82) – Tamayo 9-51, Gianni Vargas 4-14, Santell 2-14, Lara 1-3;  AND (30-183) – Ramos 12-120, Duncan 9-58, Elias Maita 1-16, Harrington 2-1, Mark Bentley 1-(-4), Noah Krueger 5-(-7)
Passing: LAW – Tamayo 7-16-2, 103 yards; AND (14-14-0, 161) – Harrington 11-11-0, 125, Bentley 3-3-0, 36
Receiving: LAW – Lara 4-55, Lenny Asencio 2-40, Anthony Garcia 1-8; AND – Moody 3-85, Nick Zalanskas 2-27, Gemmell 2-18, Jackson McCarthy 2-14, Duncan 2-6, Ryan Dennehy 1-3, Nic Silva 1-3, Florio 1-1
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Football, 09/21/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover can't overcome 5 turnovers

FRANKLIN — Andover looked to be in good position in the waning minutes of the first half against Franklin.
While the Golden Warriors trailed 7-3, they had just gained momentum after denying the Panthers on fourth-and-goal at the Andover 2-yard line.
However, the Panthers quickly turned up the pressure on defense, picking off Andover passes on consecutive drives – both of which led to scores. The suffocating defense proved the difference for the host Panthers, who forced six turnovers en route to a 34-10 win on opening night.

Owen Palmieri, who rushed 11 times for Franklin (1-0), made the first of his team’s five interceptions, bringing the Panthers to the Andover 43-yard line less than a minute after the Warriors’ goal-line stand.
After Nick Gordon cashed in on his first of two touchdown runs, Franklin’s defense went back to work. Three plays later, the Panthers turned another turnover into points when Austin Jordan ran back a 38-yard interception return for a score.

A big bright spot for the Warriors was junior running back Josh Ramos, who amassed 169 yards on 31 attempts as the usual Andover spread offense relied heavily on No. 3.

“He’s tough, he set us up for a couple of touchdowns that we didn’t convert,” said head coach E.J. Perry. “I expect that from him. I thought he might get 200 [yards] tonight, but we had to throw the ball more than we thought.”

Ramos scored the lone touchdown of the night for Andover, bringing the score to 21-10 in the third quarter. The Panthers, however, erased any thoughts of a Warrior comeback with a pair of rushing touchdowns in the final 11 minutes.
Another highlight in the loss was a booming 43-yard field goal by Seamus Florio.
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Football, 09/07/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars