North Andover Scarlet Knights Football '11

Fri, Sep 23, 2011 07:00 PM @ Westford Academy
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
North Andover 7 7 7 0 21
Westford Academy 0 0 0 6 6

Defense sparks Scarlet Knights

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Friday, September, 23 By Jeff Hamrick

WESTFORD — Westford Academy debuted its new synthetic surface last night, but it was North Andover that provided the christening.

The Scarlet Knights shut down the Grey Ghosts potent rushing attack and amassed just enough offense of their own as North Andover claimed a methodical 21-6 victory.

Brandon Walsh ran for a score and threw touchdown passes to Tom Moody and Dan Laorenza, pushing the Scarlet Knights (2-1) to a 21-0 third-quarter advantage.

But it was the defensive front of John Miller, Greg Ryan, Nate Hitchcock and Stephen O’Grady that was North Andover’s biggest asset. Alex Eaton, a Bishop Guertin transfer, entered the game averaging almost 230 yards through two games. The Scarlet Knights, however, stifled the Westford senior, holding Eaton to only 30 yards on 15 carries.

“They’re a running team, and we focused on the running game,” North Andover coach John Rafferty said. “The inside running game, the outside running game (Eaton) can run the ball and (Westford) is a good football team, and we were ready for them.”

The Gray Ghosts (1-2) compiled only 166 yards of offense and nine first downs. And if it weren’t for a 8-play, 74-yard scoring drive midway through the fourth quarter, those totals would have been even worse.

“We knew it was going to be a battle, but we were well prepared,” said O’Grady, a senior tri-captain who combined with Miller and Hitchock for 30 tackles. “We like to be multiple. We like to run that 3-4 that can turn into a 4-3 real easily. We’re pretty confident going into the rest of the season.”

North Andover, which scored one touchdown in each of the first three quarters, had several big plays but lacked consistency and hurt itself with penalties.

“We made some mistakes,” Rafferty said. “We know we have to get better at some things. but it’s high school football. We always make some mistakes.”

Walsh’s scoring passes went for 23 and 41 yards, and he also had three runs for 12 yards or more. John Iannone, who finished with a game-high 106 yards on 20 rushes, opened the game with a 69-yard burst up the middle. But those six plays accounted for 192 of the Scarlet Knights 281 yards of total offense on 57 plays.

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

NA — Brandon Walsh 4 run (Ryan Quinn kick), 0:30

Second Quarter

NA — Tom Moody 23 pass from Walsh (Quinn kick), 7:16

Third Quarter

NA — Dan Laorenza 41 pass from Walsh (Quinn kick), 3:36

Fourth Quarter

WA — Justin Mount 27 pass from Troy Faretra (kick failed), 6:30


RUSHING: NA (35-203) — John Iannone 20-106, Walsh 13-81, Nick Oswald 1-13, Brandon Lash 1-3; WA (31-112) — Alex Eaton 15-30, Faretra 12-41, Mount 3-17, Nicholas DiBenedetto 1-4

PASSING: NA — Walsh 13-22-0, 178 yards; WA — Faretra 5-11-0, 54

RECEIVING: NA — Laorenza 5-77, Isaiah Nelson 4-58, Moody 3-37, Iannone 1-6; WA — Mount 4-44, Eaton 1-10

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