North Andover Scarlet Knights Football '18

Fri, Nov 30, 2018 07:30 PM @ North Andover
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
King Philip 0 0 0 0 0
North Andover 0 6 0 0 6

Knights are Kings ... Division 2 state champs!

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Friday, November, 30 By Kyle Gaudette
Staff writer

FOXBORO — Gabe DeSouza just stood speechless at the 30-yard-line.
North Andover teammates jumped and celebrated all around him. In the Gillette Stadium stands, fans donning scarlet and black yelled and hugged each other in pure joy.
But, despite all of the chaos around him, DeSouza just couldn’t find any words.
Mere moments prior, North Andover had just completed a perfect season by winning the Division 2 Super Bowl in front of approximately 9,000 fans, beating two-time defending champ King Philip, 6-0. The Knights (12-0) stood as tall, proud champions on the field Tom Brady calls home every Sunday.
Finally, torn between wanting to celebrate with his team or going to hug his mother in the stands, DeSouza finally found some words.
“This is crazy,” said DeSouza, head spinning before letting out a cry of joy. “I don’t even have words to describe this.
“You couldn’t have pictured a better story, like at all. You take out the two-time defending champs, you go 12-0, like what more could you ask for. Like, c’mon man!”
Fittingly, it was a Mike Roche sack which ended the game.
South champion King Philip (9-3) had one last gasp at the North Andover 36-yard-line with 6 seconds remaining and no timeouts. As QB Robert Jarest completed his drop, Roche was there to meet him and caught his ankle as the 6-foot signal-caller tried to spin away.
As Roche got up and let out a roar, he was met by his teammates who swarmed the field from the sideline.
“It’s the best feeling ever,” said Roche, a Maryland lacrosse recruit. “The last play, I saw him rolling out and I just knew I had to get him. So that’s what I did.”
A senior, the hard-hitting, 5-foot-9 Roche spearheaded a defense that surprised everyone by keeping the champs off the scoreboard. He got help from Darren Watson and DeSouza in the passing game, and big Matthew Samenuk up the middle.
Interestingly enough, the game played out exactly how King Philip wanted.
The Warriors were pounding the rock with junior back Ryan Halliday (29 carries, 97 yards), chewing up clock and keeping North Andover’s explosive offense off the field. 
Took it personal
If you would have told anyone that North Andover — a team that had scored at least 35 points 10 times this season — would score just six points Friday night, you would probably say that King Philip completed the three-peat. Probably in a blowout.
But no one could have expected how well the Knights were going to play on defense.
Well, almost no one.
“Our kids took it personal all week,” said North Andover coach John Dubzinski. “All they heard was how good (King Philip’s) defense was — and rightfully so, they’re a good defense. But our kids knew that they were a good defense and that we didn’t hear a lick about our defense. 
“They took it personal, said that we’re not going to allow them to move the ball ... but we never broke. We made the big play when we had to.”
When they talk about this North Andover team 50 years from now — which they will — that fact won’t be overlooked.
The Knights could beat you with their pure skill, 49-0, but they could also out-hit and out-tough any opponent and win with stellar defense.
“We can say that we can win a slugfest,” laughed Dubzinski. “A lot of people said that we couldn’t.”
McElroy scores
The lone score of the game came with 2:25 left in the first half, when on a 4th-and-goal from the half-inch line QB Jake McElroy barrelled his way in.
As it turned out, that was all the Knights needed.
“I feel amazing,” said senior Darren Watson. “I can’t even, I don’t even know how to explain this. It’s a blessing to win a championship with my family, for all of the fans, my teammates and my coaches. We just did it for the North Andover community.”
Watson capped the historic night (Knight?) with probably the best line — a line that summed up the thoughts of his teammates as well.
At the beginning of the season, did you ever think or dream you guys would be celebrating winning a state championship at Gillette Stadium?
“Of course, nothing less.”

North Andover 6, King Philip 0
Division 2 State Championship
King Philip (9-3): 0 0 0 0 — 0
North Andover (12-0): 0 6 0 0 — 6
Second Quarter
Jake McElroy 1 run (kick blocked) 2:25

RUSHING: NORTH ANDOVER (14-15) — Darren Watson 4-9, Jake McElroy 8-9, Freddy Gabin 2-(-3); KING PHILIP (36-121) — Ryan Halliday 29-97, Robert Jarest 3-14, Shawn Conniff 2-10, Sam Callanan 2-0
PASSING: NORTH ANDOVER — Jake McElroy 10-16-1, 117 yards; KING PHILIP — Jarest 5-7-0, 55, Cole Baker 0-1
RECEIVING: NORTH ANDOVER — Gabe DeSouza 5-64, Matt Chicko 2-25, Darren Watson 1-29, Jack Walsh 1-6, Freddy Gabin 1-(-7); KING PHILIP — Tom Nault 2-27, David Morganelli 2-22, Sam Sesay 1-6

Game Statistics:


Second Quarter

NA — Jake McElroy 1 run (kick blocked) 2:25



RUSHING: NA (14-15) — Darren Watson 4-9, Jake McElroy 8-9, Freddy Gabin 2-(-3); KP (36-121) — Ryan Halliday 29-97, Robert Jarest 3-14, Shawn Conniff 2-10, Sam Callanan 2-0

PASSING: NA — Jake McElroy 10-16-1, 117 yards; KP — Jarest 5-7-0, 55, Cole Baker 0-1

RECEIVING: NA — Gabe DeSouza 5-64, Matt Chicko 2-25, Darren Watson 1-29, Jack Walsh 1-6, Freddy Gabin 1-(-7); KP — Tom Nault 2-27, David Morganelli 2-22, Sam Sesay 1-6


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