Plagued by injuries throughout the game, Andover Football did its best to hold back the Choate offense, but ultimately lost 40-0. The team’s record is now 3-1.
Head Coach Leon Modeste said, “Our kids didn’t quit. That’s the most important thing; they didn’t quit. They could have turned it off, we could have given up, we could have given up a hundred points but even when our second team went in, they were playing hard, hard, hard. That’s the Andover football spirit. You do it for your family, and… you keep working for your brothers and sisters.”
Mirroring Coach Modeste’s words, Andrew Mazzone ’19 said, “We stuck together, and we kept on moving through. Even if we were down, we just kept on trying.”
With several key players injured on the sidelines, the game last Saturday was predicted to be a challenge for Andover against Choate — a school with a renowned football program.
Coach Modeste said, “It was very difficult. They were a very, very good team; they’d won 33 straight games so we knew it was going to be a difficult game, but then we had a couple of key guys that were going to be out because they got hurt in the previous games. We knew it was going to be a challenge; our kids played as hard as they could, and I’m very proud of the way our kids conducted themselves.”
Andover had a strong effort on defense and gained substantial yards on offense, but failed to execute on the final push into the end zone.
Michael Codrington ’18 said, “Definitely our defense did pretty well at the start of the game. Obviously, it was a big play that they had on our first defensive possession. But we were down the next; we forced a lot of punts, and we stayed in our assignments.”
“I think on offense, we adjusted well, and we did a lot of things on our feet. Obviously, we had our key receivers injured and we kept seeing different looks from the defense, [but] we kept our heads and we talked to each other. We strung together a lot of key drives that we couldn’t finish. We were getting deep into their territory, but we just couldn’t finish those drives,” Codrington said.
Despite the disappointing score, the coaches and players all agreed that it was a very good experience for the team and would ultimately help them improve for the rest of the season.
Codrington said, “It was a good test for us. We came to the game undefeated, and so did they… we talked about trying to be a championship team since preseason, and that’s what a championship team looks like. That’s where we need to be at come mid-November, which is what I think we can be at. So I think it was a great test… Also, I think it was good for us to see what we were like when we aren’t at full strength… but it also gave certain other guys some valuable playing experience.”
Andover has a bye for this upcoming Saturday, an opportunity for the team to recuperate and prepare for the next game. On Family Weekend, Andover will face Suffield in an attempt to return to its earlier season success.