Co-Captain Jumaane Ford ’16 barrelled toward the Kent School quarterback, leaping into the air to bat a pass into the arms of safety Jack Belluche ’16. The fourth quarter interception sealed the 14-11 victory for Andover on Saturday, improving the team’s record to 2-0.
Andover’s defense prevailed in the pitched game, stifling Kent’s offense by shutting down its plays in the air and on the ground. Andover snatched three interceptions, with Belluche hauling in two and Co-Captain John Simourian ’16 catching one.
The defensive line also managed to shut down Kent’s potent run game. Led by Post-Graduate (PG) Ben Anthony ’16, Simourian and Ford, Andover notched 86 tackles and five sacks.
Head Coach Leon Modeste said, “We did a great job pressuring the pass, and our secondary made several key tackles. Our defensive ends also played great all-around coverage throughout the game, led by [James Antoine ’16].”
On the offensive side, Andover struggled to convert points and found itself maintaining a meager lead for most of the game. After a strong drive in the first quarter in which PG quarterback Robert Jones ’16 lofted a touchdown pass to PG wide receiver Hallvard Lundevall ’16, Andover failed to regain its offensive spark.
Kent managed to surprise and limit Andover’s offense by employing the abnormal strategy of stalling Andover’s lethal passing game.
Belluche said, “Offensively, we just need to prepare more. Kent played a non-standard defense that threw us off.”
Although Kent’s secondary had a huge impact on the pass game, the receiving line adapted and made adjustments to exploit the short pass.
“We got off to a pretty slow start, but we took what they were giving us. They were giving us inside slants, and we took those all game so that was pretty good,” said Lundevall.
Reflecting on the victory, team members were satisfied with the team’s defensive performance but noted the need to improve offensively.
“[It was] a hard victory. Our offense sputtered, but our defense came to play. It was good to see [this] improvement, because in the first game our offense played great and our defense sputtered,” said Head Coach Leon Modeste.
Facing the 2014 New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Football Champions Choate on Saturday, Andover will look to find its rhythm on both sides of the ball.