Football Fumbles Against Big Green

While losing a game by 34 points is a rough outing in any sport, the loss only becomes worse when the game is football, the contest occurs at home on Parent’s Weekend, and the game is a shutout. This past weekend, in front of a rain soaked crowd of enthusiastic mothers and fathers, Deerfield flattened the Big Blue 34-0. On Saturday afternoon, in the early minutes of the first quarter, the Boys in Blue matched the Big Green play for play. Running-back Jerrel Smith ’05 opened the contest by running very well, picking up six, seven, eight yards per carry. Unfortunately the Big Blue could not keep up with Deerfield’s pace and started to wrack up penalties, forcing the squad further and further back and into increasingly worse field position. Then, Smith got injured. Five touchdowns, and four quarters later, the Big Green took home a 34-0 victory over the Big Blue. As an integral piece of Andover’s line-up and the team’s deadliest offensive threat on the ground, the loss of Smith not only significantly hampered the team’s running game but hurt its passing game and the defense as well. Coach Modeste said, “Jerrel commands a huge presence on the field, and with out him our options on offense are significantly reduced.” With Smith out of the game, the Andover squad found itself unable to delay on offense. By contrast, without Andover’s star running back to worry about, the Deerfield defensive line had less of an offensive threat to maneuver around. Therefore, the Big Green was able to take more gambles on defense and effectively cause more turnovers. Reflecting on the game Coach Modeste said, “We started well, but stupid penalties held us back, and once we lost Jerrel the wheels just came off. With Jerrel out we had to regroup and we did a poor job doing so. After that Deerfield just took over.” Tomorrow, the Boys in Blue take on the Tabor Academy Seawolves. Coach Modeste described Tabor as “a team much like us.” The Seawolves, like most teams in this league, will rely heavily on their full back. On defense the Andover team needs to focus on stopping the run and forcing Tabor turnovers. After finally bringing its record back above the 500 mark last week, the Andover squad has once again been reduced to a mediocre 3-3 record with two more games to go. Hopefully, Andover will learn from the Deerfield collapse and execute the necessary plays to come out on top against Tabor and its last opponent, Exeter, next Saturday.