Methuen Rangers Football '14

Fri, Oct 17, 2014 07:00 PM @ North Andover
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Methuen 0 0 0 0 0
North Andover 21 7 14 7 49

Nichols returns from preseason injury to lead North Andover to dominant win over Methuen

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Friday, October, 17 By David Willis
Staff writer

NORTH ANDOVER — Breyin Nichols had been dreaming of the moment each and every day since early August.

So when he touched the ball, the senior captain was going to make it count.

“The first play I ran was a toss,” he said. “I pushed it to the outside, waited for the hole to open, hit it and I was gone.”

More than two months after the leg injury that cost him over than half of his season, Nichols returned to the field for the first time in 2014, rushing for two touchdowns as his Scarlet Knights dismantled Methuen 49-0 at Walsh Field.

“It just felt awesome to be back,” said Nichols. “After missing the whole season, I just wanted to be out there with my teammates, and to rush for two scores makes it that much sweeter.”

The victory was a crucial one for the Knights, after they were upset by Lawrence a week ago.

“We didn’t come ready to play last week,” said lineman Matt Donatio. “But this week we came in ready, we scored quick, got some three-and-outs on defense and were hitting hard. It was a good bounce-back win.”

The day was one to savoir for Nichols, who had missed all of camp and the first five games of the season with a nerve injury to his left leg.

“It happened while I was working out a week before camp,” said Nichols. “I had a muscle that was pinching my nerve. It was pretty debilitating. I couldn’t run or do much physical activity.  It was a couple months of seeing a lot of doctors and doing a lot of physical therapy.”

Finally, he was cleared to return to practice this week, and made his much-anticipated return to game action last night.

Nichols then made his presence heard late in the first quarter, taking a toss a plowing in from 6 yards out for a touchdown.

The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder then added to his night late in the third, carrying on seven straight plays and scoring his second touchdown of the night, a 13-yard TD. Nichols finished the night with 14 carries for 82 yards.

“I can’t even explain how much it means to me to finally be out here and get to play in my senior year,” he said. “I had to work pretty hard to get ready again, but it means everything to be back out with the guys playing football.”

It was an all-around perfect night for the Knights, who scored on all but one possession — and had a touchdown called back on that drive — and never punted.

North Andover recovered a fumble two plays into the contest, and James Foote scored his first of two touchdowns of the night.

After a three-and-out, superstar Bubba Shkliew tacked on his first score of the night, rushing for a 37-yard touchdown. With the Knights debuting a new package with Shkliew at QB, Bubba rushed five times for 108 yards, and at his regular receiver position he caught a score from Seamus Lambert.

The defense was just as dominant, allowing just 62 yards of offense. Yanni Falaras made the stick of the night on a crushing in the backfield that caused a fumble, and linebacker Joe Samuelman was all over the field making tackles.

“This feels really good,” said captain Jack Burckhardt. “It is great to be back in the win column. We were not happy, so we knew we had to take it to Methuen. It is always great to put a 0 on the scoreboard as a defense.”

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

NA — James Foote 6 run (John Boudreau kick), 10:21

NA — Bubba Shkliew 37 run (Boudreau kick), 7:54

NA — Breyin Nichols 5 run (Boudreau kick), 2:14

Second Quarter

NA — James Foote 9 run (Boudreau kick), 2:00

Third Quarter

NA — Shkliew 15 pass from Seamus Lambert (Boudreau kick), 8:09

NA — Nichols 13 run (Boudreau kick), 2:00

Fourth Quarter

NA — Ryan Good 63 run (Boudreau kick), 7:26



RUSHING: NA (34-349) — Bubba Shkliew 5-108, James Foote 10-105, Breyin Nichols 14-82, Ryan Good 1-63, Nick Rulle 1-(-1), Connor Walsh 2-(-2), Seamus Lambert 1-(-6); M (16-45) — Mike Baglieri 5-24, Jake Amodio 5-8, Kendrick Denose 3-2, Kevin Denose 3-11

PASSING: NA — Lambert 3-4-0, 41, Shkliew 0-2-0; M — Baglieri 5-15-0, 17, Kendrick Denose 0-2-0

RECEIVING: NA — Shkliew 2-34, John Boudreau 1-7; M — Jon Abraham 2-10, Jake Amodio 1-3, Mike Phelger 1-5, Nick Comerford 1-0

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