North Andover Scarlet Knights Football '18

Fri, Oct 19, 2018 07:00 PM @ Billerica
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
North Andover 14 21 0 0 35
Billerica 0 0 0 14 14

Undefeated North Andover wins MVC title, No. 1 seed

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Friday, October, 19 By By Bill Burt
Sports editor

 BILLERICA — This September, the North Andover High football team was expected to be in position to have a special season.

At 7-0, clinching a Merrimack Valley Conference small schools title, with signature wins over Central Catholic, Tewksbury and Methuen, the Scarlet Knights have checked all of the boxes.

With last night's convincing 35-14 win over Billerica High, North Andover cops the top spot in the Div. 2 North sectional, which means home field advantage all the way through.

"We knew we had the makings of a pretty good team this year because of last year, beating Andover on Thanksgiving, and having a good run in the tournament, the experience we had returning," said Knights coach John Dubzinski.

"Then everybody showed up on August 18 for the first practice and I really knew we had something," said Dubzinski. "The guys were all business. They came to work. Sometimes you need time to find out about your team. I knew this summer, we could be really good."

Billerica knew six seconds into the game how good the Knights were.

On the game's first offensive play junior Freddy Gabin took the toss from Jake McElroy, and sprinted down the right sidelines for a 78-yard score.

North Andover got the ball back and two plays later, Gabin appeared to be stopped, before breaking away and completing a 59 yard score. 

Another stop by the Scarlet Knights, on fourth down, and four plays later, including a 51-yard keeper by Jake McElroy, and it was 21-zip early in the second quarter.

The Knights weren't done on either side of the ball, getting two more stops and a pair of McElroy touchdown passes to Matthew Chicko (21 yards) and Darren Watson (33 yards) to take a five-score lead.

It was impressive.

Gabin finished with 153 yards on only six rushes and two TDs. McElroy at one point completed seven straight passes and finished 9-for-12, 136 yards and two TD passes.

"We think we can play with anyone and we've pretty much shown that this year," said senior lineman Matt Samenuk, who has been a two-way star at center and linebacker for North Andover High.

"We can run inside, outside and we can protect Jake," said Samenuk. "A lot of us have been together a long time, since fifth grade. We've been waiting for this for a long time. We think we're a tough group."

North Andover will wait for the final seeding to be announced. North Andover, as the No. 1 seed, will host the No. 8 seed next Friday night at Walsh Stadium.

Knights Notes: Last night's win was the first time North Andover beat Billerica in 50 years ... Ryan Slattery and Mark Federico were dominant on defense with 11 tackles apiece ... McElroy had 206 yards of offense ... Defensive end Michael Roche had a big fumble recovery in the first quarter on a high snap that the Billerica quarterback bobble ... While Gabe DeSouza is an elite wide receiver, don't take his kicking for granted. He was perfect, 5-for-5, on extra points. His strong and accurate leg could be a weapon come November. 

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

NA — Freddy Gabin 78 run (Gabriel DeSouza kick), 10:42


NA — Gabin 59 run (DeSouza kick), 3:37


Second Quarter

NA — Joe Allen 3 run (DeSouza kick), 10:16

NA — Matthew Chicko 21 pass from Jake McElroy (DeSouza kick), 2:00

NA — Darren Watson 33 pass from McElroy (DeSouza kick), 0:22

Third Quarter

No scoring

Fourth Quarter

B — Kyle Dillon 42 run (Kick failed), 2:37

B — Shawn Colby 25 pass from Nolan Houliahan (Robert Moore rush), 0:11




RUSHING: NA (26-269) — McElroy 4-70, Gabin 6-153, Allen 9-42, Michael Difo 1-2, Cam Watson 2-4, Sebastian Vente 4-(-2); B — Houlihan 2-8, Moore 7-38, Nicholas Gualtieri 5-16, Stephen Brennan 5-7, Joseph Dufour 1-(-1), Dillon 6-69

PASSING: NA — McElroy 9-12, 3TDs, 136 yards; B — Houlihan 6-12, 1TD, 86 yards 

RECEIVING: NA — Watson 4-72, DeSouza 2-26, Gabin 1-4, Ryan Slattery 1-11 

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