Co-Captain Michael Thompson ’20 rolled out to the left off a fake field goal and lobbed the ball to Magnus Voge PG ’19, who caught it in the end zone for a two-point conversion. Despite this play and other efforts, Andover Football fell to Choate by a score of 8-51 on Saturday. The team’s record now stands at 1-2.
According to Voge, the team’s downfall was the result of a large disparity in roster size between Andover and Choate.
“Choate had a way bigger roster than us — I think about 60 or 70 kids. Because of that, they were able to play different guys on both sides of the ball, whereas we probably had eight to nine guys who play both ways,” said Voge.
After putting up a strong fight in the first quarter, Andover’s smaller roster struggled to save its energy for the rest of its game, according to Voge.
Voge said, “We saw that in the first quarter, we stuck with them and it was around 14-8. And from then on, they just outgassed and outran us and, eventually, were able to pummel us because we were so out of breath.”
According to Baron Abrishami ’21, while Andover possessed the potential to come out on top, a slew of mental lapses ultimately cost them the game.
Abrishami said, “I think we lost just because of mental errors. We’re definitely talent-wise good enough to beat them, but, unfortunately, we just made mental error after mental error. Guys sometimes forgot what their task was.”
While the team struggled in execution, Andover never failed to give its best effort, according to Troy Pollock ’21 and Co-Captain Andrew Mazzone ’19.
Pollock said, “We didn’t play as a unit, and although we gave our best effort, we underestimated them… We came out flat, and we couldn’t seem to come back. But we never quit, and we showed some heart.”
“Overall, the one thing I noticed that we did well in was the fact that even if we were getting [our] butts handed to us, we kept grinding. We never let up,” wrote Mazzone in an email to The Phillipian.
Though the final score may not reflect it, Andover demonstrated strong development in both its offensive and defensive game on Saturday, according to Voge.
Voge said, “On defense, we stopped the run really well… On offense, our passing game really picked up. It’s been a little stagnant during our last game.”
Saturday’s game also saw impressive performances from Jake Bedell PG ’19 and Sal Lupoli PG ’19, according to Voge.
Voge added, “Jake Bedell did really well. He had a lot of catches and had some good returns on kickoff. On defense, Sal Lupoli had a bunch of tackles. Moving to more linemen and less linebackers, he was the guy we were really relying on to make a lot of the tackles, and he did.”
After Saturday’s loss, Andover will focus on progressing both its pass defense and offensive blocking, according to Voge.
Voge said, “Our secondary [and] our pass defense need improvement… We need to work on our blocking on offense. There were a lot of guys getting through, so we need to work on making sure we know what our assignment is and make sure we get to where we need to be.”
Entering its next game against Suffield, Andover aims to put its losses behind, according to Pollock and Mazzone.
“We’re disappointed with our last game, and we are hungry for a win. Collectively, we are ready to get to work and prepare for the following Saturday,” said Pollock.
Mazzone added, “Everyone made mistakes, and now we have to put the blinders on and move on… We just have to work [hard] the next two weeks in all aspects of the game and forget about these last two losses.”
Andover will travel to Suffield on October 20, for its fourth game of the season.