Andover Offense Looks Strong in Two Scrimmages Last Weekend

Highlighted by a thunderous hit by Captain Malcom Mason-Rodriguez ’11, the Andover football team faced off against Deerfield and Salisbury in two controlled scrimmages on Saturday. The format of the scrimmages was the same as Andover’s first scrimmage. Each team was given 10 offensive plays each followed by a timed quarter of play. “In the Deerfield game, neither team tried any tricks or anything, as we don’t want to show anything before we play them later in the year,” said Coach Leon Modeste. Andover played very evenly with Deerfield, winning 8-7 in the timed quarter of play. Tommy Shannon ’11 fired a touchdown pass to the hands of Jason Buco ’11, and then executed the two-point conversion pass to Ben Green ’11. TJ Hickey ’11 said, “The team looked sharp in the first scrimmage against Deerfield. We played hard and kept our heads high.” On one drive, Andover was able to stop Deerfield for a three-and-out. “I liked what our secondary did,” said Coach Modeste. “Hickey and Tom Szymanski ‘11, our inside linebackers, are playmakers out there.” Shannon had a good day, both under center and punting, throwing touchdown passes in both the timed scrimmage and controlled portions. Ricky Marcotte ’11 said, “We had some big passing plays during the controlled scrimmage, which was good because it allowed us to score and then turn around and keep on working on our offense.” Shannon also contributed on special teams, executing a few great punts between the two scrimmages. Andover’s passing game was well complemented by its rushing attack against Deerfield, as Hickey had some nice runs plowing through the opposing defense. “Hickey was a big impact player on offense and never wanted to go down,” said Marcotte. “It seemed like every time he got the ball he was carrying a few of the Deerfield defenders.” The Salisbury squad put up a much stronger fight, making every play a challenge for Andover. “Sailsbury simply played better than us,” Coach Modeste said. “They are a big strong team with talent, and this was a nice wake up call to the new players to how good this league really is. This is the level we need to play at.” Said Mason-Rodriguez, “It was a really challenging scrimmage – nonetheless I believe we proved ourselves to be up to the challenge, which bodes well for the rest of the season.” All elements of the team’s game were weaker in the second game, and it lost 7-0 in the timed part of the scrimmage. “We need to get better at the run defense, as Salisbury’s backs were running for big gains,” said Coach Modeste. Andover’s rushing and passing attack was suppressed all game, and it was not able to get anything going that resulted in a score. Said Coach Modeste, “Our receivers need to run better passing routes, and catch the ball when they get open.” The team is still getting better and has time to improve, especially with the comeback of tight end Max Lippe ‘11. Hickey said, “Everyday the team as a whole gets better and at this rate we should be more than ready for Saturday’s game against Loomis.”