North Andover Scarlet Knights Football '21

Upset-minded Knights can't hold on

NATICK — Senior Colby LeBlanc threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for a third, as 7th-seeded Natick High rallied in the fourth quarter for a 31-21 win over 10th-seeded North Andover Friday night in the Round of 16 in the Division 2 State Tournament.
The Scarlet Knights (now 3-6), winners of two straight coming into the tournament, overcame a pair of costly turnovers and the loss of starting running back Jack Ferullo to injury in the first half, to lead 14-10 after three quarters.
But the Red Hawks (8-1) wore down the North Andover defense and scored on all three of their fourth-quarter possessions.
North Andover quarterback Jack O'Connell had a strong game, completing 21 of 29 passes for 197 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
In the second quarter, the tide began to turn. The Knights had a back-breaking fumble on the Natick 1 and an interception led to a Natick field goal on the final play of the first half.
North Andover coach John Dubzinski said, "I thought the turning point was that fumble down at the 1-yard line. That was big."
North Andover was able to retake the lead, 14-10, late in the third quarter on a 5-yard touchdown run by O'Connell. The run capped a nine-play, 64-yard yard scoring drive, the Scarlet Knights' fifth drive of eight plays or more in the game.
But the lead was short-lived. It took LeBlanc just three pass plays to move his team 72 yards, the last 49 nine coming on a sensational pass play to Jayson Little (5 catches, 136 yards, 2 TDs). LeBlanc hit the senior captain in-stride on a fly pattern down the right sideline to give the Red Hawks the lead, 17-14.
It was the start of what would be a wild fourth quarter.
With Ferullo sidelined, Dubzinski turned to sophomore Zach Wolinski to take over as the lead back. Wolinski responded with 60 yards on 12 carries.
"He had never played there before but he was willing to step up and he ran well," said Dubzinski.
With Wolinski carrying the load, North Andover drove downfield mid-way through the final quarter and looked ready to re-take the lead. But on fourth and inches from the Natick 38, the Knights were stopped for a 2-yard loss.
"When it came down to it, they made the big plays and we didn't," said Dubzinski. 
A 41-yard run by Nizayah Montas (7 carries, 82 yards) set up an 8-yard touchdown run by LeBlanc and Natick seemed to be in command, 24-14, with just 3:37 left to play.
O'Connell and the Scarlet Knights had plenty of fight left in them, though, putting together a nine-play, 65-yard scoring drive. Using just 1:26 off the clock, O'Connell completed 8 of 10 passes and capped the drive with a 4-yard scoring strike to D'Andre King to cut the lead to 24-21.
With 2:02 remaining, North Andover attempted an onside kick, but it failed to go the required 10 yards and Natick took over. A 36-yard touchdown run by Montas put an exclamation point on the win.
Before wearing down in the fourth quarter, the North Andover defense played an excellent game, holding the high-powered Natick offense in check. The Scarlet Hawks wouldn't get their first 1st down until their third possession.
In the meantime, North Andover grabbed a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, on an 8-yard touchdown pass from O'Connell Brendan Regan, who worked his way open on the back line of the end zone.
Natick tied the game early in the second quarter on a 37-yard touchdown pass from LeBlanc to Little.
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Football, 11/05/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

North Andover falls just short in upset bid vs. Billerica

Jack O'Connell ran a QB sneak in for a touchdown to cut the North Andover deficit to just three points with 3:41 left in the game, but Billerica held strong to hold off the upset-minded Scarlet Knights 24-21 on Friday night.

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Football, 10/23/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

O'Connell tallies five TDs, North Andover rolls past Dracut

Quarterback Jack O'Connell delivered another big game, rushing for three touchdowns and throwing two more scores as North Andover rolled past Dracut 42-6 on Friday night."It's always great to win on the road," said Scarlet Knights coach John Dubzinski. "Jack had another great game with his arms and legs."It was the second straight win for North Andover (3-3), while Dracut fell to 0-6.Red-hot O'Connell opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Brendan Regan. He then made it 21-0 at halftime with a 7-yard TD pass to Nick Ankiewicz and an 8-yard touchdown run.O'Connell opened the third quarter with a 12-yard touchdown run, then closed out the scoring with a 15-yard TD scamper. Sandwiched between those two scores was a Zach Wolinski 4-yard touchdown run. "I thought our defense did a great job keeping their offense in check," said Dubzinski. "It was a good win, but we still have plenty we need to get better at."

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Football, 10/16/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

O'Connell throws 4 TDs, North Andover rolls past previously-unbeaten Chelmsford

NORTH ANDOVER — Leading by just one score in the closing seconds of the first half, North Andover quarterback Jack O'Connell rolled to his right and spotted exactly what he was searching for.

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Football, 10/09/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Tewksbury 37, North Andover 29 (3 OTs)


NORTH ANDOVER — Someone had to lose this one and, unfortunately, it was North Andover.

In a back-and-forth game between two even teams, Tewksbury prevailed, 37-29 Friday night in three overtimes.

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Football, 10/02/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars