Billerica Indians Football '22

Fri, Oct 21, 2022 06:00 PM @ North Andover
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Billerica 6 0 13 16 35
North Andover 0 21 6 7 34

Billerica rallies past Knights

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NORTH ANDOVER – On the verge of a statement win against an unbeaten opponent, North Andover, instead, found heartbreak.

MVC small division front-runner Billerica rallied with 29 second-half points, including the game winning two-point conversion with 2:19 left for a 35-34.

“That was tough, absolutely,” North Andover coach John Dubzinski said. “I’m proud of the way we played against one of the better teams in Massachusetts. I thought we battled for four quarters with them. At the very end, it was tough for either team to lose that game. That was a great high school football game.”

The Scarlet Knights (3-4 overall, 1-3 MVC) scored three second-quarter touchdowns to grab a 21-6 halftime lead. It was the first time this season Billerica (7-0, 3-0) trailed at intermission.

Zach Wolinski, who carried his heaviest workload of the season with 20 carries for 83 yards, scored on 7- and 2-yard runs, and Cam Partridge hauled in a 28-yard touchdown reception from sophomore quarterback Drew Fitzgerald with 1:59 left in the second. Fitzgerald made a nice pump fake to help Partridge get open down the sideline.

Midway through the third, Michael McNaught capped a 68-yard drive with a 4-yard run that sandwiched a pair of Billerica touchdowns. North Andover’s scoring drive was highlighted by a Jake Saalfrank leaping catch over a defender’s back 40 yards downfield that the junior tight end took to the 5. The point after kick was blocked as the Knights took a 27-19 lead into the fourth.

“Drew did a great job,” Dubzinski said of his young quarterback. “He managed the game very well. He really grew up today. I told him that was the best game of his career. He threw the ball great. I think that’ll help us become a little more balanced and tougher on defenses.”

Billerica, which was allowing 10.7 points per game, answered with a 75-yard scoring pass from JT Green to Gus O’Gara. Green’s conversion run tied the score.

North Andover once again grabbed the lead with a five-play, 68-yard drive that featured Wolinski at quarterback and was capped by a James Federico 18-yard run.

“We just wanted to change things up a little bit,” Dubzinski said of the quarterback change. “We tried to keep the defense off balance. (Wolinski) adds a different skill set.”

Camden Bethel’s third conversion kick put the Knights back ahead 34-27.

“This was the first time all year we faced adversity,” Billerica coach Duane Sigsbury said. “We knew North Andover was a very good team. They have a lot of skill ... and they’re well coached, and it wasn’t too long ago they won a Super Bowl.”

The Indians responded with the game’s best drive, going 70 yards on 14 plays that ended with 2:19 remaining. Green, who ran for 180 of his 320 total yards, did most of the damage before scoring his third touchdown and adding his second two-point conversion run.

“They are a very good team,” Dubzinski said of the visitors. “They’re hard to defend, and that’s probably why they’re scoring (37.7) points a game. Our defense played hard. (Billerica) has just done that to everybody on its schedule. That quarterback is a great runner.”

North Andover had two more possessions, but neither advanced past the Indian 20.

“I told the kids they have to keep their heads up,” Dubzinski said. “There was a lot to build off of this game. We just have to get back to practice and work the stuff to improve on.”

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

Billerica — JT Green 35 run (pass failed) 8:21

Second Quarter

North Andover — Zach Wolinski 7 run (Camden Bethel kick) 10:50

North Andover — Wolinski 2 run (Bethel kick) 5:11

North Andover — Cam Partridge 28 pass from Drew Fitzgerald (Bethel kick) 1:59

Third Quarter

Billerica — Djoodny Dorival 5 run (run failed) 8:54

North Andover — Michael McNaught 4 run (kick blocked) 5:16

Billerica — Green 2 run (Jason Chaffee kick) 2:29

Fourth Quarter

Billerica — Gus O'Gara 75 pass from Green (Green run) 11:38

North Andover — James Federico 18 run (Bethel kick) 8:28

Billerica — Green 1 run (Green run) 2:19


RUSHING: Billerica (43-217) — Green 31-180, Dorival 12-37; NA (36-167) — Wolinski 20-83, McNaught 10-46, Federico 6-38

PASSING: Billerica — Green 8-12-0, 140 yards; NA — Fitzgerald 5-14-2, 99

RECEIVING: Billerica — O'Gara 6-120, Mike Murnane 1-12, Scott Einarson 1-8; NA — Partridge 2-19, Wolinski 2-21, Jake Saalfrank 1-59

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