Football Suffers First Loss of Season, 33-29

This past Saturday, the Andover Football team made the trek down to Connecticut to face Choate in what is always a thrilling matchup. Andover’s efforts were not enough, however, as many costly mistakes led to a 33-29 loss. For the third straight game Andover started strong, as it was first to score on a six-yard run by quarterback Dan Hussey ’09. Kevin Paul ’10 tacked on the extra point. Andover held a 7-0 lead after the first quarter. Andover padded its early lead with a 14-yard run by standout tailback Eddie Houghton ’09. The Andover squad looked strong for much of the first half, until Choate scored a touchdown on a quarterback sneak right before half time. This cut Andover’s lead in two, as the team led 14-7 going into half time. The second half of this game was another story. Choate scored again on a touchdown that came on a long 76-yard pass. The opposition missed the extra point, however, so Andover held on to the lead by one point. Andover answered right back when Houghton rushed for his second touchdown of the game. After sustaining a long drive, Houghton punched the ball into the end zone from the four-yard line. Andover converted the two point conversion to make the score 22-13. Choate came roaring back with 13 unanswered points of its own to take its first lead of the game in the fourth quarter. Andover took over with a few minutes left in the game to try and take back the lead. Sam Auffant ’09 broke off with a long touchdown that put the team up, but it was called back on a holding call. Luckily, Auffant had another long touchdown run, this one 33 yards, which would not be called back. This gave Andover a 29-26 lead with not much time left for Choate. Despite the waning time, a Choate returner ran the ensuring kickoff for an 80-yard touchdown to give his team the lead for good. The first loss of the year for the talented Andover team, this game was tough to swallow. “We did not play like we’re capable of. We got penalized, and had a lot of trouble tackling on defense,” said Coach Leon Modeste. “We’ll just have to put this game behind us.” Even in a loss like this, there were many positives that can be taken from the game. The ground game was again a force for the Andover offense, as Houghton and Auffant ran for over 250 yards combined. Hussey was also effective and made good decisions on the field. This Saturday night, Andover will play Cushing Academy at home. “We’re all excited to play in front of our home fans for the first time this year,” said Captain Andrew Pohly ’09. With Cushing coming off a win over Worcester Academy, it will be tough, but the game presents the perfect opportunity for Andover to redeem its loss.