Manchester Essex Hornets Football '08

Sat, Sep 20, 2008 TBA @ Endicott College
Team Final
Mystic Valley 8
Manchester Essex 35

Hornets Make Quick Work of Mystic Valley

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Desi Smith, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Monday, September, 22 By Nick Curcuru
Staff writer

BEVERLY - Manchester Essex head football coach Mike Athanas said Saturday's game against Mystic Valley demonstrated his team's character.

The Hornets were playing a Mystic Valley team that is not one of the stronger teams in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference. While some teams would fall into the trap of playing a weaker opponent, the Hornets came out with the focus and intensity of a big game en route to a dominating 35-8 win over the Eagles at Endicott College in Beverly. The Hornets, who improved to 2-0, were lead by a 35-point first half, and saw the backups play the entire second half.

"We treat every team the same," Hornets tri-captain and linebacker Max Quirk said. "This was our first conference game and we were fired up. Plus they only lost two players from last year and we were expecting an improved team, which they were."

Athanas praised his team's play, both offensively and defensively.

"We played a good game," Athanas said. "We had a little trouble picking up their blitz early but we made the adjustments and played great. I thought both the offense and defense had great games."

The Hornets got on the board on their second drive of the game when quarterback Pat Orlando hit Ben Kekeisen for a 25-yard score. Kekeisen caught the ball along the sidelines at the 3-yard line and tight-roped the sidelines into the end zone to make it 7-0.

After forcing a three-and-out the Hornets got another quick score on a 41-yard run from halfback Brian Ciccone. When the Eagles botched the snap on a punt in their next possession, Orlando ran 18 yards into the end zone on the first play to make it 21-0.

The Hornets defense would once again stop the Eagles on their next drive, and Orlando hit Ciccone for a 71-yard bomb on the second play of the drive to make it 28-0. Kekeisen capped off the Hornets scoring in the first half when he scored on a 10-yard run after another botched snap on a punt from the Eagles.

The Hornets offense was dominant in the first half, racking up 271 yards of total offense. Orlando finished 4 for 4 for 128 yards and two touchdowns and Ciccone had 141 total yards (71 receiving, 70 rushing).

Believe it or not, the Hornets defense was even more dominating, allowing just 18 yards and one first down in the first half. The younger Hornets took care of the second half, giving the starters a rest.

"It was nice to get the younger guys some playing time," Athanas said. "It's a long season and our starters will need all the rest they can get, and the younger kids played well, they executed the offense and did what they were supposed to do."

While the Hornets starters found themselves in a different position in cheering on their teammates, they didn't mind. In fact they enjoyed seeing what the younger players could bring to the table.

"It was great cheering on the younger guys," Quirk said. "They work just as hard as we do all week in practice and it was nice to see them get some quality playing time."

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

ME- Ben Kekeisen 25 pass from Pat Orlando (Brian Ciccone Kick)
ME- Brian Ciccone 41 run (Ciccone Kick)

Second Quarter

ME- Orlando 18 run (Ciccone Kick)
ME- Ciccone 71 pass from Orlando (Ciccone Kick)
ME- Kekeisen 10 run (Ciccone kick)

Third Quarter


Fourth Quarter

MV- Gardy St. Paul 5 run (Nick Martorana run)


RUSHING: MV — Nick Martorana 9-51, Alex Arredondo 4-30, Gardy St. Paul 9-19, Brendan Hogan 1-(-1), Eric Natale 1-(-1), Michael Pascal 2-(-10); ME — Brian Ciccone 4-70, Pat Orlando 2-31, Ben Kekeisen 4-23, Jack Bishop 3-19, Pat Hoffman 6-11, Tony Tran 1-1, Alex Carr 1-(-3), Calvin Cook 3-(-6).
PASSING: assing: MV — Artie Hoffman 1-2-(-4)-0-0, Nick Martorana 0-5-0-0-0; ME — Pat Orlando 4-4-128-2-0, Alex Carr 2-2-30-0-0.
RECEIVING: Receiving: MV — Nick Martorana 1-(-4); ME — Brian Ciccone 1-71, Ben Kekeisen 1-25, Jim Finn 1-21, Jake Brown 1-19, Jack Bishop 1-11, Dylan Parlee 1-11.

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