North Andover Scarlet Knights Football '21

Fri, Oct 08, 2021 07:00 PM @ North Andover
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Chelmsford 0 7 0 0 7
North Andover 14 7 7 7 35

O'Connell throws 4 TDs, North Andover rolls past previously-unbeaten Chelmsford

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Saturday, October, 09 By David Willis
Staff writer

NORTH ANDOVER — Leading by just one score in the closing seconds of the first half, North Andover quarterback Jack O'Connell rolled to his right and spotted exactly what he was searching for.

"I was looking for Nick (Ankiewicz) because he's a big target and I wanted to get him the ball," said O'Connell of his 6-foot, 200-pound receiver. "I rolled out and there Nick was flapping his hands. I threw him the ball, he made a great catch and got into the end zone and that really shifted the momentum of the game."

O'Connell connected with Ankiewicz for a 31-yard touchdown with no time left in the first half, the QB's second of fourth touchdown passes on the night, and it was all North Andover from there, as the Scarlet Knights rolled past previously-unbeaten Chelmsford 35-7 on Friday night.

"This game was huge for us," said Ankiewicz. "We've needed this one since last week. We knew Chelmsford was 4-0, but that didn't mean anything to us. We came out today, we were very confident, and we executed."

North Andover was hungry for a win after dropping a three-overtime heartbreaker to Tewksbury last week.

"We needed this one bad!" said O'Connell. "If we want to make the playoffs, we needed to win this one. Not one of our players hung their head when we were 1-3. This was a huge week, and we got a big win."

North Andover set the tone right away on Friday. Jack Ferullo gave the Scarlet Knights the lead with a 9-yard touchdown run on their opening drive, and a possession later O'Connell hit D'Andre King for a 9-yard touchdown pass.

Chelmsford rallied back with a score, and seemed to be taking momentum into halftime before the O'Connell hit Ankiewicz on the final play of the half.

"I ran a speed-out and the defense jumped on (fellow receiver) AJ Lawrence," said Ankiewicz. "I got open, put my hands up and OC (O'Connell) read me perfectly and led me in for a score."

The Scarlet Knights were cruising after halftime. On the fifth play of the second half, O'Connell found Brendan Regan for a 41-yard touchdown. He then added a 6-yard TD toss to Lawrence before his day was through.

Meanwhile, the North Andover defense was locking down Chelmsford. The Scarlet Knights allowed the Lions just 139 yards of total offense for the game, and just 51 yards after halftime.

Ferullo, AJ Partridge and Regan each grabbed an interception, David Cooperstein recovered a fumble and Hunter Scott and Nathan Jacques each had a sack for the winners.

"Our defense was aggressive and was flying to the ball," said Knights coach John Dubzinski. "I think the pressure on the quarterback really helped. Our ends came up the field well, the defensive tackles were applying pressure and the quarterback couldn't get comfortable.

"I'm not going to say this was a must-win for our team, but it was a win we definitely needed. Winning heals all wounds, and the kids will go into next week with a positive attitude."

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

NA — Jack Ferullo 9 run (rush failed), 4:37

NA — D'Andre King 9 pass from Jack O'Connell (Ferullo rush), 0:45 

Second Quarter

C — Malakai Linton 1 run (Michael Bierwirth kick), 6:47

NA —  Nick Ankiewicz 31 pass from O'Connell (Camden Bethel kick), 0:00

Third Quarter

NA — Brendan Regan 41 pass from O'Connell (Bethel kick), 8:50

Fourth Quarter

NA — AJ Lawrence 6 pass from O'Connell (Bethel kick), 11:00



RUSHING: North Andover (31-143) — Jack Ferullo 17-69, Jack O'Connell 5-60, Aiden Lynch 5-8, James Federico 4-6; Chelmsford (17-45) — Malakai Linton 9-65, Ryan Blagg 1-5, Kyle Wilder 7-(-22)

PASSING: North Andover — O'Connell 18-27-0, 193; Chelmsford — Wilder 11-23-3, 94

RECEIVING: North Andover  — Brendan Regan 2-50, Nick Ankiewicz 3-45, AJ Lawrence 7-48, D'Andre King 4-42, Ferullo 1-7, Zach Wolinski 1-1; Chelmsford — John McCarthy 2-27, Austin Nigro 3-22, Blagg 3-40, Manuel Marshall 2-6, Linton 1-(-1)

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