The Andover Football team made its regular season debut this past Saturday with a nail-biting 3-0 win, complements of kicker Denys Levin ’05, over Loomis Chaffee. Coming into the game, the Andover squad’s only concern came in regards to their defense. The Andover squad silenced their critics and pitched a shutout last Saturday, smothering every offensive drive Loomis could muster. Although the team may not have scored the 34 some odd points per game they are so capable of, a win is a win, and the Boys in Blue are off to a great start. For the first two and a half quarters, neither team was able to score at all, much less find the end-zone. For, while Loomis found themselves overwhelmed by Andover’s defense, the PA team was plagued by a myriad of penalties, making it increasingly difficult to drive the ball. Finally, in the middle of the third quarter, Levin knocked the game-winning 34-yard field goal, a solid kick at any level of the game. It was a textbook play that began with a perfect snap from David Giller ’06 and a good hold from Steve Sherrill ’05 and culminating giving Andover the late three-nil lead. Coach Modeste said of Levin and his boot, “Denys did a great job Saturday. In my 18 years of coaching at this school, we have never had a kicker of his caliber.” Loomis Chaffee gave the small gathering of Andover fans present at LC memorial stadium a scare late in the third quarter Saturday, when a scrambling Loomis QB put up a desperation hail mary, which Loomis managed miraculously to bring down in the red zone. Following the hail mary, Loomis had the ball first and goal on the one yard line and were shut down and pushed back in four successive plays by the Andover defense. The Loomis Quarterback was sacked two of those four plays, first by Co-Captain Evan Platt ’06 then by John Dent ’05. The Andover team sealed the deal when Matt Ward ’06 picked the Loomis QB in the dwindling minutes of the fourth quarter. Despite the Andover team’s inability to find the end-zone, statistically the team had a played solidly. Jerell Smith ’05 rushed for 120 yards, which could have been 150-170 had it not been for penalties. Ward rushed for 58 yards, Joey Lokitis ’06 in only the second varsity start of his career threw for 105 yards and an interception, and wide receiver Joey Furnari ’05 had four catches for 77 yards. Stats, however, do not win ball games, and as Coach Modeste put it, “Nobody cares unless you put points up on the board.” Levin said of the game, “I think we played well overall, there is a lot of room for improvement, but the defense came up huge and at the end of the day a win is a win.” When asked what impressed him most about the game Saturday, without so much as flinching Coach Modeste answered, “The defense.” Co-Captain Platt led the team with eight tackles, John Dent ’05 had five tackles, Ward racked up five tackles and an interception, and Nick Hennessy ’05 had two tackles and an interception. Upon entering the game the defense was supposed to be the Andover squad’s biggest weakness. But at the end of the day, it was the defense which won the game for the Big Blue. The team will need another big game out of the “D” tomorrow against Hotchkiss. Coach Modeste predicts that the team who can get away with a couple of big offensive breaks will win the game. In closing, Coach Modeste said it best, “If all goes well, and our offense can break away on a couple of big plays, in the friendly confines of Phelps Stadium, with the student body behind us, and the night lights upon us, we can beat Hotchkiss.”
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