Andover Golden Warriors Football '17

Thu, Nov 23, 2017 10:00 AM @ North Andover
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Andover 7 0 0 0 7
North Andover 6 14 13 0 33

North Andover earns convincing Thanksgiving win

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Thursday, November, 23 By David Willis
Staff writer

NORTH ANDOVER — Quad-captain Joe Roffer had one message for his North Andover teammates as they prepared to take the field in front of an enthusiastic Thanksgiving crowd.

“Before we started I looked at the guys and I said, ‘At the end of this game, I want to be holding that trophy up,’” said Roffer. “I want it in my hands.”

A little over two hours later, that trophy found its way into the trusty hands of the hulking offensive lineman.

“And when it did, it felt amazing,” said Roffer with a smile. “It doesn’t get any better than beating Andover in the final game of your football career.”

North Andover scored on five of its first six possessions, and limited Andover to just 140 yards of total offense for the game on the way to a 33-7 Thanksgiving Day victory in front of an estimated 1,500 fans at Walsh Field.
“I know I’m thankful for this victory,” said lineman and quad-captain Andrew Carter. “We worked hard and we felt like we deserved this victory. It really is an indescribable feeling. It’s great to make history.”
The win marked the third overall victory for North Andover over Andover in the last 29 years, the others coming in 2005 and 2009. It was the Scarlet Knights’ first Turkey Day win over the Golden Warriors since the two teams kicked off the rivalry two years ago.
North Andover was playing without superstar receiver/defensive back/kicker Gabe DeSouza, who was stuck on the sidelines as a very vocal coach due to his injury suffered in the Division 2 North final.
“It’s just awesome,” said quad-captain Chikeziri “Chik” Ogwuru. “There wouldn’t be a better feeling right now than holding this trophy. I want to take it home and eat my turkey dinner out of it.”
It was Ogwuru who set the tone for the Knights’ big day.
With North Andover leading 14-7 but Andover driving, the defensive back jumped a route for an interception to give North Andover control.
“I saw the running back cross my face,” said Ogwuru, who one possession earlier earned a sack to help squash a drive.
“I played it back, then broke on the ball to take the pick. I wanted to make a big play for my teammates.”
Two plays later, Darren Watson (96 rushing yards) plunged in for a 2-yard touchdown, and the Knights were firmly in control.
“It was a great win,” said North Andover coach John Dubzinski. “The defense got great pressure on the QB. Our secondary covered very well and our front-four did a great job on their running game. And we were swarming to the ball. The offense also played an excellent game.”
North Andover took the lead on its first possession of the contest, as Watson’s 49-yard scamper set up a Jake McElroy 1-yard QB sneak touchdown.
Andover fought back, taking the lead on a Nick Dellatto 11-yard touchdown pass to Brendan Moody.
But Scarlet Knights responded with a 14-play drive that fullback Mike Difo finished off a with a 3-yard score.
Watson’s touchdown following the Ogwuru pick made it 20-7 at halftime, then the Knights put it away in the second half. McElroy (161 passing yards) found J.D. Allen for a 20-yard touchdown on the first possession of the second half, then Difo closed out the scoring with a 4-yard TD.
“The pass rush was really getting after their QB,” said Ogwuru. “They really couldn’t run the ball, and we were covering the defenders well. I’m proud of the defense.”
North Andover limited Andover to just 31 rushing yards and 109 through the air, 76 of those to Eagle-Tribune All-Star receiver Cedric Gillette in his final game.
“Andover is a huge rival,” said Roffer. “There haven’t been many wins for North Andover over Andover over the years, so do it in our last game is pretty emotional. It’s an amazing memory.”

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

NA — Jake McElroy 1 run (kick blocked), 4:25

A — Brendan Moody 11 pass from Nick Dellatto (Shamus Florio kick), 1:14

Second Quarter

NA — Mike Difo 3 rush (McElroy rush), 5:02

NA — Darren Watson 7 run (rush failed), 1:08

Third Quarter

NA — J.D. Allen 20 pass from McElroy (Caleigh Twomey kick), 4:35

NA — Difo 4 run (kick failed), 2:22



RUSHING: North Andover (45-228) — Darren Watson 11-96, Jake McElroy 11-47, J.D. Allen 11-40, Mike Difo 6-25, Freddy Gabin 6-20; Andover (14-31) — Tommy Duncan 4-20, Josh Ramos 8-15, Dellatto 2-(-4)

PASSING: North Andover — Jake McElroy 8-12-0, 161; Andover — Dellatto 13-28-1, 109

RECEIVING: North Andover — Allen 5-95, Watson 2-45, Jack Walsh 1-21; Andover — Cedric Gillette 9-76, Brendan Moody 3-21, Alec Pascoe 1-12

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