Manchester Essex Hornets Football '08

Sat, Oct 11, 2008 TBA @ Greater Lowell
Team Final
Manchester Essex 34
Greater Lowell 18

Hornets stay dominant, roll past Greater Lowell

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Monday, October, 13 By By Nick Curcuru

 TYNGSBORO - Manchester Essex's game against Greater Lowell Tech on Saturday looked a lot like the Hornets' other four this season.

Another win, and another blowout.

The Hornets (5-0) disposed of the Gryphons 34-18 despite losing quarterback Pat Orlando to an ankle injury on the second drive of the game. Backup quarterback Alex Carr came in to relieve Orlando and the team didn't miss a beat putting up 28 first half points and executing a balanced offense.

"Alex did a great job today," Hornets head coach Mike Athanas said of the sophomore signal caller. "He is a good quarterback and he pays good attention in practice every day. We weren't afraid to do the same type of stuff we normally do with him in the game. We have confidence in him throwing or handing off."

Hornets halfback Brian Ciccone says the way the team moved the ball without their star signal caller gives the team a ton of confidence going forward.

"We are really confident after playing well with Pat out," Ciccone said. "Pat is one of our best players and leaders and it always hurts to lose him, but we kept our focused and we played well."

The Hornets jumped out to a lead on their first drive of the game when Ben Kekeisen raced 40 yards for the score to make it 7-0, which is where it stood after one quarter.

The Hornets would strike again early in the second on a Jack Bishop 5-yard run. The plunge capped off a 13-play, 89-yard drive for the Hornets.

Manchester Essex made it 28-0 before the half expired, as Ciccone added a 54 and 42-yard touchdown. The Hornets out-gained the Gryphons 276-21 in the first half.

The Hornets extended the deficit to 34-0 on their first drive of the second half when Carr hooked up with Kekeisen for a 39-yard score.

Greater Lowell made it respectable with three fourth quarter touchdowns from running back Bill Fuller to make it 34-18, but the game was already out of hand.

"We did what we needed to do today," Athanas said. "We played well on both sides of the ball. But most importantly we showed up ready to play. It doesn't matter who you're playing, you have to be ready to play and these kids have been ready every week."

Ciccone led all rushers with 127 yards on six carries. Kekeisen finished with 122 total yards (71 rushing, 51 receiving) and Carr finished off the day completing 5 of 6 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown.

Ciccone credited the offensive line of Clayton Morrissey, Max Quirk, Ben Smith, Sam Ponte and Matt Wescott. The Hornets big men opened up huge running lanes, as Ciccone and Kekeisen went untouched on all three of their long touchdown runs.

"I have to give the line all the credit today," Ciccone said. "They made it easy for us today. They have been awesome all season."

Manchester Essex will now turn its attention to its biggest test of the season, in CAC Large favorite Whittier Tech. Athanas admits his team will have their hands full with the Wildcats.

"Whittier is a great team," Athanas said. "They are the top dogs in the large. We are going to have to come ready to play just like we have been."

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