Mason-Rodriguez ’11 Scores Three Touchdowns As Andover Steamrolls Loomis Chaffee Defense

On a chilly fall day, the Andover football team took the field for the season opener against Loomis Chaffee, romping the Pelicans 35-6. Coach Leon Modeste was fairly content with the way his team played. He commented, “It was a pretty decent first game. We had a few miscues here and there but overall I’m pretty happy.” The Andover offense was in motion from start to finish and looked solid throughout the game. Running back Tom Sullivan ’10 made a statement early in the first quarter with a 42-yard rush, but left the game with a knee injury. Modeste again explained, “Even though we won, losing a guy like Tom takes a little bit away from the victory.” Malcolm Mason Rodriguez ’11 picked up right where Sullivan left off and had a stellar day in the backfield. Rodriguez had three touchdowns on the day along with 125 yards rushing. Alex Gray ’10 said of Rodriguez, “Malcolm has always been really fast, but he used to have trouble translating his amazing athleticism onto the football field. This year he has a much better sense for the game, he reads his blocks well and he knows how to set up the defense. He has transitioned from athlete to football player.” Rodriguez attributes his recent success to the exceptional offensive line. He commented, “A running back is nothing without a good group of linemen in front of him. I can honestly say that we might have one of the best lines in our league.” Quarterback Andy Vailas ’10 lead the passing game with a 64% completion percentage for 98 yards, and 46 rush yards. Meanwhile, Clayton Cleveland ’10 led the receiving core with 3 completions for 28 yards and one touchdown. Modeste was impressed by Vailas’ performance in his debut wearing the Blue jersey, commenting, “Andy did a wonderful job commanding the offense. He threw the ball very well and wasn’t afraid to tuck it and run.” On the defensive side of the ball the team looked almost flawless. Lead by John McKenna ’10, who had 5 tackles on the day, the Big Blue defense stuffed the Loomis running game. Andover’s defensive line also put pressure on the Loomis quarterback all day, keeping the Pelicans’ passing game at bay. The pressure of the defensive line resulted in an incredible six sacks on the day. After jumping out to a 28-0 lead at the half, the younger players got a chance to step onto the playing field. Quarterback Tom Shannon ’12 did a fine job directing the offense in the second half. Modeste commented, “The young guys did a great job. I liked the way Tommy conducted himself. He wasn’t afraid to tuck it either.” Modeste also commented on the job by back Sam Lessard ’11. Lessard had 13 yards on two carries. After a season opening victory, 35-6, over Loomis, the team looks to improve to 2-0 when Andover and Choate meet on October 10.