Capping off an undefeated regular season and advancing to the New England Championship, the Andover Football team blew out archrival Exeter 43-14 Saturday in front of a packed home crowd. Andover retains a 67-49-10 overall record against Exeter with its win in the 129th match up between the two teams. With the blessing of sun and 60 degree weather, the teams took to the field Saturday afternoon with the usual sense of rivalry. But a bid to the league championship game was also on the line. Exeter featured a very quick defense and a tremendously hyped quarterback in Cameron Ely, but Andover was well prepared with its plan to focus on containing the postgraduate QB. “We wanted to make sure that Ely didn’t get a lot of time to work by pressuring him, and both our defensive and offensive lines were excellent. We were also lucky that the Exeter receivers dropped some balls,” said Coach Modeste. The Big Blue defense held Exeter to just 235 yards on the day—and only 55 in the first half—continuing a streak of outstanding play. In its last four games, the starting PA defense has allowed a total of 14 points. “We got beat by a good team today,” Exeter’s Coach Glennon said. “We knew they were big up front and we knew their linebackers are excellent. They controlled the game tackle to tackle and we couldn’t get outside. The better team won without question.” Andover gained twice as many yards as the Red on the afternoon, with a total of 467, spurred by an 8 for 14 performance by Co-Captain QB Will Sherrill ’07 for 151 yards passing and three touchdowns. Anthony Ambrosi ’07 busted out several long plays en route to controlling the ground game with 228 yards rushing and one touchdown. Several players had noteworthy days, as Luke DeLuca ’07 and Austin Monahan ’07 had two touchdowns apiece, on the ground and in the air respectively. Chris Bramwell ’07 had his first two catches of the season for 82 yards and one touchdown, and he also intercepted an Ely pass on defense. As Coach Modeste said before the game, “It’s easy to be the guy making plays, but it’s tougher to be the guys supporting them. Our scout team guys work just as hard as everyone else, and both the starters and scout team support and appreciate each other.” Andover’s line of scrimmage dominance was noticeable immediately, although the opening quarter resulted in a stalemate. Chad Hollis ’08 had a hand in that as he blocked an Exeter field goal attempt on the Red’s second drive. A successful kick would have given Exeter a 3-0 lead. Instead, Hollis’ block gave Andover the ball and the Blue drove right down the field to score its first touchdown. The offensive line, anchored by Co-Captain Casey Shannon ’07 at left tackle, protected Co-Captain Sherrill well, as it has all year, with only two sacks given up on the season. Kevin Wood ’07 pulled out from guard and made some key downfield blocks on several of Ambrosi’s big jaunts. DeLuca started the scoring in the 2nd quarter with a 7-yard plunge, followed by a quick strike by Sherrill to Bramwell on a right side corner pattern, good for a 32-yard touchdown. As the half was drawing to a close, Bramwell picked off Ely and the ensuing Andover drive ended with a Mike Sullivan ’08 field goal for the 17-0 Andover lead. Ambrosi strolled in within two minutes of the beginning of the 3rd quarter for a 23-yard touchdown run, while Sherrill and Monahan hooked up for two consecutive touchdowns to bring the score to an insurmountable 43-0 in Andover’s favor. Exeter scored two touchdowns at the end of the game against Andover’s reserves to make the score 43-14. Tomorrow afternoon, at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, Andover will meet the 8-0 Salisbury School for the NEPSAC Class A Championship. Salisbury has a nearly identical point differential as the Blue, and has walked all over the Erickson League this season. The Winged Beavers are led by QB Chris Dwyer and RB Jeff Jack, and feature a large and powerful offensive line.
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