Andover Golden Warriors Football '07

Thanksgiving Day Preview: Andover at Central Catholic

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Where: Lawrence Veterans Stadium

Date: Thursday, Nov. 22

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Quarterbacks: Mike Pierce, Andover; Shain Jowett, Central Catholic

Coaches: Ken Maglio, Andover; Chuck Adamopoulos, Central Catholic

Parking: Parking is very tough around Lawrence Veterans Stadium. Get there as early as possible to find a good spot. Some parking is available on the road, but that will fill up fast and will require a walk. A good place to park, though, is behind the high school.

Insider Tip: Due to Andover's annual Thanksgiving Day Feaster Five Road Race, traffic is very heavy prior to the game, so leave early and be prepared to wait. Both teams have large bands, which will make for an entertaining halftime.

Series record: Central Catholic leads the series 18-15-1. But Andover upset the Raiders a season ago, 18-10, denying Central Catholic its first outright MVC championship since the 1998 season. The Raiders did win a share of the title, and advanced to the playoffs thanks to coin flip later that day.

The players that spearheaded that upset a season ago are back for Andover. Quarterback Mike Pierce and wide receiver Matt Rayner are one of the most potent pass-catch duos in Eastern Massachusetts. Pierce, who averages more than 200 yards a game through the air, isn't afraid to spread it around to the rest of a potent receiving corps that includes Mike Morander, Peter Hanson, Derrick Beasley and halfback Chris Abreu.

The Andover defense is paced by defensive lineman Andrew Lebowitz, linebackers Abreu, Sam Clark and Tripp Stevens and defensive backs Beasley and Kevin Hitchko.

Central's offense is the polar opposite of the spread run by the Golden Warriors. The Raiders employ the run-happy wing-T offense, and rely upon 2006 All-Scholastic fullback Mike Leavitt. Now recovered from a hamstring injury suffered in the summer, Leavitt will carry the load along with twin brothers Mike and Matt Smith. Mike Schlosser, a 250-pounder, anchors the offensive and defensive line, and junior Shain Jowett is in his second season as the starting quarterback.

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