Andover Wins in Last-Minute Drive; Hussey ’09 Rushes and Passes for Both TD’s

With under four minutes remaining in the game, Andover quarterback Dan Hussey ’09 tossed a short pass to Sam Auffant ’09, who dodged and dashed his way into the endzone to break a 7-7 tie and give Andover an exciting victory over Deerfield. The football team was back at home for Parents’ Weekend, and in front of a packed home crowd the defense dominated the pace of the game for both teams. After a quick three and out on Andover’s first drive, Deerfield threatened to score early in the first quarter. To thwart the threat, Anthony Morlani ’09 intercepted a pass at the Andover 25 yard line. After three consecutive first down runs by Eddie Houghton ’09, Deerfield finally forced a fourth down. Andover decided to risk it on fourth down, however, and it turned out well, as Morlani made a diving catch to sustain the drive. “With the work Anthony puts in every day it came as no surprise to me that he would come down with that ball,” said Hussey. Hussey then took the game into his own hands to give Andover the lead. With Deerfield defenders closing in on him, he scrambled around the left side for a 9 yard touchdown. Kevin Paul ’10 added the extra point to give Andover the 7-0 lead in the 2nd quarter. The next two quarters were all Andover, as the defense forced the Deerfield quarterback into making premature decisions and poor throws time and time again. Joey Atiba ’09 intercepted an overthrown ball on Deerfield’s next possession, Morlani picked off a deep throw for his second interception of the day, and Sam Clark ’09 recovered a fumble in Andover territory. The most influential Deerfield turnover came when Deerfield was threatening to score on Andover’s goal line in the 2nd quarter. The Andover defensive line pressured the quarterback, and Auffant caught a key interception. Andover’s defense finally broke down, however, as many long runs brought Deerfield to the Andover goal line again. This time, Deerfield made sure to come away with some points. The opposition scored on fourth and inches to tie the game at seven with about eight minutes left in the game. Starting at their own 22 yard line, the Andover offense then orchestrated a long drive to the Deerfield 14-yard line. The drive was led by tough running from Houghton, and highlighted by a 34 yard pass from Hussey to Luke Duprey ’10. At the 14, Hussey rolled out the right and hit Sam Auffant ’09 with a short pass. Auffant dodged a number of Deerfield defenders and ran in for the score to put Andover up by a touchdown with 3 minutes left in the game. “The touchdown was largely Sam’s effort. He has the ability to turn any play into points,” said Hussey. The Andover defense held the Deerfield offense to only 1 first down on the next possession. Deerfield came up just short on a fourth down measurement to secure the win for Andover. “Our secondary should be commended for being dominant and disrupting Deerfield’s passing game,” said Morlani of the defense that came up with multiple crucial turnovers to end Deerfield drives. The offense didn’t get its usually astounding output on the ground, but both Houghton and Auffant fought for tough yards and had critical 4th down conversions. Hussey was efficient through the air, completing passes at crucial times, like the long completion to Duprey. This week Andover will travel to face Worcester Academy to look for its third consecutive victory. Worcester Academy lost to an NMH team that Andover has already defeated earlier this year.