Andover Golden Warriors Football '07

Fri, Oct 26, 2007 07:00 PM @ Andover
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Chelmsford 7 10 7 18 42
Andover 0 14 7 8 29

Andover still has no answers for Chelmsford

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Andover fell to Chelmsford, 43-29, when the two teams clashed on Friday, Oct. 26, 2007. » Roger Darrigrand, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Saturday, October, 27 By David Willis
Staff writer

ANDOVER | The curse strikes again.

Andover continued its more-than two-decade-long struggles against Chelmsford, falling to the Lions 42-29 in a crucial Merrimack Valley Conference battle last night at Eugene V. Lovely Field.

"They were a lot more explosive than we thought they were," said Golden Warriors coach Ken Maglio. "They were very aggressive and they gave us a lot of trouble on defense."

This marked the ninth consecutive loss for Andover to Chelmsford. Since The Eagle-Tribune began keeping records in 1984, the Golden Warriors are only 4-19-1 against the Lions.

The loss also dealt a major blow to Andover's hopes of advancing to the playoffs. The Golden Warriors now have two MVC losses (5-3, 4-2 MVC) and sit in third place in the league. They would need to win out and have Chelmsford (7-1, 5-0 MVC) lose its final three games and Billerica (7-1, 4-1 MVC) to lose at least twice to have a shot at the postseason. Each team has three games left.

"Our offensive line came off the ball hard all night and that was the key for us, and Louis Bailey had a breakout game," said Chelmsford coach Bruce Rich. "They ran well in the first half, so we put an extra man in the box and it seemed to work."

Andover had no answers for Chelmsford's smashmouth offense. Andover stopped the Lions only twice, on the first and last possession of the game. In the middle, Chelmsford scored on seven consecutive possessions, six touchdowns and a field goal at the end of the first half.

Chelmsford attacked Andover from all angles. It gashed the Golden Warriors for 278 yards on the ground on 36 carries, sparked by Louis Bailey's 133 yards. Tim Rich also completed a whopping 12-of-14 passes for 165 yards.

"We had them stopped a few times, but they would make that big play," said Maglio, whose team allowed eight third-down conversions in the second half. "And we didn't realize how good Bailey was. He outran us today."

A bright spots for the Golden Warriors came midway through the second half when quarterback Mike Pierce connected with halfback Brendan Hughes on a 22-yard pass.

The pass gave Pierce 3,323 career passing yards, the most all-time by an Andover quarterback according to Maglio. The previous record was held by Scott Seero in the early '70s. Pierce finished the game with 140 yards, his second lowest total of the season, on 12-of-23 throwing.

It was his second game this season in which he did not throw a touchdown pass. He did rush for four scores, giving him 12 for the year. Brendan Hughes led the way with two catches for 48 yards.

Chris Abreu, Kevin Hitchko and Sam Clark each tied for the game-high with six tackles while Steven LaFortune had four and Yogi Layne had three stops and his team-high fourth interception of the season.

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