Football Dominates NMH with 1-2 Punch of Houghton & Auffant

Propelled by another great day from the running game and a strong defensive showing, Andover football improved their season record to 4-1 with a win over NMH 28-7. The Andover offense was rendered ineffective in the first quarter after getting to NMH with only 45 minutes until kickoff. NMH surprisingly struck first on a rushing TD to take the first lead of the game 7-0. Andover then got back in the game when Eddie Houghton ’09 broke through the defense for a 78-yard touchdown run. The extra point from Kevin Paul ’10 tied the game at 7-7. Before long, Andover scored on another big play. Quarterbck Dan Hussey ’09 completed a pass over the middle to Luke Duprey ’10, who outran the NMH defense for the 78-yard score. Paul added the extra point to put Andover up 14-7, a lead that they would maintain going into halftime. The Andover offense broke out of their shell in the fourth quarter to score 14 points. Houghton scored his second touchdown of the game from 17 yards out to extend the lead to 14. NMH then sustained a long drive that reached deep into Andover territory. John McKenna ’10 stopped the drive when he made a crucial interception. Andover proceeded to march down the field with a mix of running and passing. The final points of the game came when Houghton drove through the defense to score his third touchdown of the game, giving Andover a commanding 28-7 lead. In the week of practice leading up to the game, Andover focused on shutting down the strong NMH passing game. They executed this plan well as they managed to limit NMH to short dump passes and screens. “We allowed NMH to throw short, as long as we could tackle their receivers after they got the ball, and we did that well,” said Coach Leon Modeste. The secondary covered the talented NMH receivers well, with lockdown coverage from McKenna and Joey Atiba ’09. McKenna was assigned to cover NMH’s best receiver, an All-New England prospect. “John, who covered NMH’s best wide receiver man-to-man all afternoon, rendered him a non-factor in the game as the receiver only amassed 10 yards the entire game,” said Asst. Captain Anthony Morlani ’09. The tight coverage led to two interceptions by the Big Blue defense, with McKenna and Atiba having one each. The defense also had two fumble recoveries, as Morlani pounced on a loose ball deep in Andover territory. Reid Mosquera ’09 recovered one as well. The backbone of the defense was the outstanding play of the defensive line. The defensive line amassed seven sacks on the day, three from Mike Bernieri ’10 and two by Mosquera. Captain Andrew Pohly ’09 and Paul Spada ’09 also contributed to the pressure on the NMH backfield. “Combining the strength of tackles with the speed of our defensive ends, our front four are always a threatening force in the opposing backfield.” said Mosquera. The offense was fueled by another great day for Houghton, who ran for 208 yards and three touchdowns. Sam Auffant ’09 added 81 yards rushing, as the Andover ground game was almost unstoppable. Hussey finished with 163 yards through the air, and Duprey had 123 yards receiving. On Saturday, Andover’s highly touted match-up will no doubt be an interesting one. “Deerfield brings talent to every position,” said Coach Modeste. He continued, “They will be the toughest opponent for us all year.” Andover hopes to run their winning streak to three against Deerfield, who also defeated NMH. Kickoff is at 3:30 at Phelps Stadium.