Football Defeats Worcester 16-6 and Prepares to Face Exeter; Hollis ’08 Blocks Two Punts and an Extra Point to Spur PA to Win

On Saturday night, Andover finished off its penultimate opponent, Worcester Academy, by a 16-6 score at a neutral site, Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. The outstanding PA defense forced four turnovers, a safety, and scored a touchdown, while Chad Hollis ’08 blocked three kicks in the victory. “Most importantly, we came away from a game on the road healthy, and with a win,” commented Coach Modeste. The Blue came away with a season-low one offensive touchdown on the night, but gained over 300 yards and had an effective passing game. Red zone turnovers and key stops by Worcester hit Andover hard on the scoreboard, but PA won the battle for field position with its efforts. On its first drive of the game, Andover easily moved the ball downfield but, after 13 plays, forked the ball over on a fumble at the Worcester 16-yard line. After holding the hosts to a three-and-out, Hollis broke through the punt coverage, and deflected the kick out of the end zone for a safety, and a 2-0 PA lead. Later in the half, after another halted Worcester drive in the opponent’s end of the field, Hollis blocked another punt, deflecting the ball into the hands of Gigi Cadet ’07, who ran the ball in 25 yards for the score. “Chad’s got great timing, and he takes pride in his special teams work. He’s just got a great knack for blocking kicks,” said Coach Modeste. With a dominating first half defensive performance, Andover led 9-0 at the end of the first half, with all nine points coming off the blocked punts. The Blue turned up its game in the third quarter, but not before Worcester struck with one big passing play. A long reception placed the Hilltoppers at the two yard line, and its running back promptly rushed in for the score, but Hollis blocked the extra point as Andover’s lead shrank to 9-6. Andover quickly answered, driving down the field, but once again shot itself in the foot and turned the ball over to Worcester for the sixth time. On Worcester’s ensuing possession with a chance to take the lead and give Andover its first loss of the year, Chris Bramwell ’07 made a leaping interception and squelched any chance of a Worcester comeback. Andover answered with a long drive, but came upon more red zone trouble as it faced a fourth down and seven from the Worcester 12 yard line. The Blue collected itself, however, and Co-Captain QB Will Sherrill ’07 fired a 12-yard TD strike to Austin Monahan ’07 to increase the gap to 16-6 PA and deliver the dagger to Worcester’s hopes for an upset. Andover stopped the Hilltoppers once again in the fourth quarter, forcing a fumble inside the Blue 20-yard line, and would hold the lead to exit the night with an intact 6-0 record. The Andover offense suffered from four fumbles and two interceptions aside from gaining 300 yards. Coach Modeste remarked, “We had a little too many turnovers, had some mistakes here and there,” but also emphasized the great special teams effort the Blue put on. “Our kickers and punter did great jobs. The extra points were huge because it made our lead a two-possession lead.” The defense put in an outstanding effort and bailed out the offense in by far the worst offensive performance of the year for Andover. PA held Worcester to negative yards rushing and allowed only one big play, stuffing the Worcester attack for the entire game. Tomorrow brings the matchup everyone has been waiting for, the 126th meeting of archrivals Andover and Exeter, at home in Phelps Stadium at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The game will also be video broadcasted live on This year, 6-1 Exeter fields a speedy defense and a talented and quick offense, led by QB Cam Ely and RB Mark Seager. PEA will be looking to bust out big plays on offense and defense, and the Big Blue is preparing for anything Exeter throws its direction. The stakes are also higher this year: the winner moves on to play the Salisbury School in the New England Class A Super Bowl.