Billerica Indians Football '19

Fri, Oct 25, 2019 04:00 PM @ North Andover
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Billerica 0 0 0 0 0
North Andover 0 14 7 14 35

Defense paves way for Knights

  • Currently 0.0 with 0 votes.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

NORTH ANDOVER — With the playoffs starting next week, the North Andover football team appears to be peaking at just the right time.

The proof was on the field Friday afternoon as the Knights (4-3), sparked by the surprisingly quick return to action of junior quarterback Will Schimmoeller from a knee injury, smacked a decent Billerica squad 35-0 for their third straight victory.

"I think we're playing our best football of the seasons in all aspects," said North Andover coach John Dubzinski. "This was a good team victory."

It was a particularly good win for the defense that stymied a Billerica offense known for its passing attack. Highly regarded Indians' quarterback Nolan Houlihan was held to 111 yards and he was intercepted four times.

Even when Billerica completed a pass, some hard-hitting tackling limited the Indians in yardage.

On one of the North Andover interceptions, the Indians receiver appeared to make a catch, but he was hit so hard by Matt Chicko that he coughed the ball into the arms of Jack Carbone, who returned 45 yards.

Also grabbing interceptions were Jadynn Mencia, captain Shaun Nichols and, on the last play of the game, sophomore reserve D'Ardre King. Mencia and Nichols also made some jarring tackles to break up potential receptions.

"That's what we've been working on a lot in practice, good tackling," said Nichols. "We love it and it brings a lot of energy."

Helping force the interceptions was some good pressure up front with Jack Roche and Tim Iannarone particularly effective. Overall it looks like a different unit from the one that gave up 25, 33 and 34 points in North Andover's three losses.

"I think we got fed up and decided to do something about it," said Nichols. "After the Tewksbury game (a 34-20 loss), we started to find our groove."

The North Andover offense, meanwhile, didn't start finding its groove Friday until Schimmoeller entered the game following a scoreless first quarter. Despite hurting his knee just two weeks earlier, he definitely changed the Knights' effectiveness.

Taking over on Billerica's 42, Schimmoeller completed a 20-yard pass to Mencia on his first play, kept the ball three times for nine yards and on the sixth play, following some nifty scrambling, completed an eight-yard TD pass to Jake Wolinski.

Then, with 1:34 left to halftime, the Knights took over on the Billerica 45 and Schimmoeller brought the Knights downfield to provide a 14-0 halftime lead, scoring with 25 seconds remaining  on a 4-yard pass to Chicko.

"That was the plan, to bring him (Schimmoeller) in the game at some point," said Dubzinski. "He opened things up for us and did a good job. That helped open the running game a little."

The running game accounted for the Knights' three touchdowns (two by Freddy Gabin and one by Ricky Brutus) but two followed Billerica turnovers and all three were set up by key passes including a beautiful 45-yard strike from Schimmoeller to Max Wolfgang.

In the Knights' final TD drive, Peter Radulski came back to play QB and completed a nifty 14-yarder to Sebastian Vente. Two plays later, Brutus zoomed around his left side for 34 yards and, on the next play, ran it in from four yards out.

With the offense hitting all cylinders in the second half, the defense dominant throughout and fine special teams play highlighted by the kicking of Seth DiSalvo, the Knights did indeed have a good team win, which bodes well for them as they start defense of their Division 2 state title next week.

Pairings will be released Sunday but there's a good chance North Andover will host Westford at home next Friday.


Game Statistics:

Second Quarter

NA — Jake Wolinski 8 pass from Will Schimmoeller (Seth DiSalvo kick), 6:39

NA — Matt Chicko 4 pass from Schimmoeller (DiSalvo kick), :25

Third Quarter

NA — Freddy Gabin 8 run (DiSalvo kick), 5:11

Fourth Quarter

NA — Gabin 1 run (DiSalvo kick) 10:56

NA — Brutus 4 run (DiSalvo kick), 3:07



RUSHING: North Andover (34-115) — Freddy Gabin 20-65, Ricky Brutus 7-38, Will Schimmoeller 3-9, Jadynn Mencia 1-3; Billerica (29-78) —- Brian Hamilton 16-65, Stephen Brennan 2-14, Nick Gualtieri 1-3, DJ Sidell 3-9, Colby Cyrus 1-2, Nolan Houlihan 5-(-17) Nathan Young 1-2

PASSING: North Andover — Peter Radulski 1-2-0, 53; Schimmoeller 9-11-0, 138, Cjicko 0-1-0, 0; Billerica — Houlihan 9-23-4, 111

RECEIVING: North Andover — Matt Chicko 2-57, Gabbin 1-17, Max Wolfgang 3-69, Jadynn Mencia 2-34, Sebastian Vente 1-14, Brutus 1-0; Billerica —Shawn Colby 2-25, Gualtieri 5-64, Hamilton 1-20, Young 1-2

0 Story Comments