Defense Holds Strong While Offense is Explosive in Scrimmages

Highlighted by an 80-yard rush by Sam Auffant ’09 in this weekend’s scrimmage, Andover rolled past Cushing and Deerfield in preparation for its season-opener against Loomis this Saturday. Coming into the scrimmage, Coach Leon Modeste had some goals for his team. “The keys to scrimmages like these are, number one, everyone comes out healthy, and two, to see how the players respond under live action and adversarial conditions,” said Coach Modeste. According to Modeste, the team performed well, especially the offensive line and the linebackers. There were some times when the team wasn’t on the same page on both offense and defense, but overall, the team played well, he said. Coach Modeste was most impressed by the cohesiveness of his team. “Not only on the field, but in practice, on the bus and on the sideline, the team is coming together. They look like they’re meshing nicely right now,” said Coach. Considering how many new players have been added to this year’s squad, that is quite impressive. For these new players, this was the first live action of their Andover careers. Quarterback Dan Hussey ’09 was excited to step onto the field wearing the Andover uniform. “It has been an honor I have been looking forward to since I was accepted [at Andover], and it was also a relief because after the countless hours I have spent preparing for this season throughout this summer and preseason, I could finally just go out and play the game of football.” He continued to say that the offense was clicking. The offensive line was the key as it gave him great protection and opened some holes for tailbacks Auffant and Eddie Houghton ’09. Hussey still sees areas for improvement such as timing between himself and the receivers. Offensive Tackle Bobby Kubacki ’09 also was glad to play for Andover for the fist time. “It was weird at first playing for another team, but it felt good as well, because I was still able to do something I love just in a different color uniform,” noted Kubacki. Mixing these new players with the already talented returners has the team in great position to succeed this year. This was exemplified when the offensive line opened a hole for Auffant to break off that big 80-yard touchdown, as well as a 40-yard Hussey touchdown throw to Luke Duprey ’10. As for the defense, the preseason prediction held true in the scrimmage, as it was very aggressive, hard-hitting, and fast to the ball. Captain Andrew Pohly ’09 was happy to get some game action in before the season. He said, “It was great to play and hit another team before the regular season.” Pohly continues to say the defense does have some areas to improve on this week, like pursuit angles and finishing tackles, but it did a nice job containing both Cushing and Deerfield last Saturday. To prepare for Loomis, this week the team has been working on schemes to help them take advantage of the holes in Loomis’s game. Modeste already has a good idea of what Andover will see in the opener. “On the defensive side of the ball, Loomis blitzes a lot, as they have the past few years. As for their offense, we will see a spread offense, with a lot of the plays run from the shotgun formation,” he explained. The team is working on ways to beat these schemes this week until it kicks off its regular season this Saturday afternoon.