Defensive Missteps Give Game Away

Quarterback Joe Verhaegh ’13 rushed for a touchdown and passed for another in an otherwise underwhelming team performance in Andover Football’s 44-13 loss to Loomis on Saturday. “Loomis is one of the best teams I have faced in all my years at Andover, and they had a lot of weapons to use against us. These new recruits were especially talented, and they understood how to play the game of football at a high level,” said Coach Leon Modeste. “We couldn’t focus in on stopping just one player,” added Robert Needham ’15. Loomis was able to capitalize on a few poor defensive efforts by Andover, one resulting in a 64-yard touchdown. “A couple of mistakes here and there are what broke the game down. These mistakes cost us big plays, and that was how Loomis was able to break the game wide open,” said Modeste. Andover’s backs rushed for a total of 80 yards, less than a third of Loomis Chaffee’s whopping 226. Andover was able to pass for 148 yards, spotlighted by a 43-yard bomb to Larken Kemp ’13 and a touchdown pass to Will Clark ’13, but Loomis’s passing game proved greater with 211 yards and two touchdowns. In order to improve its passing, Andover will use its bye week to work on training its running backs to pick up blitzes and having its quarterbacks fall back deeper in the pocket, according to Modeste. With increased protection, the quarterbacks should have more time to make longer and accurate passes to receivers. While Andover took home a loss, the loss against Loomis was not devoid of highlights. Jake Howell ’14 recorded an interception along with catching two passes for 28 yards. On a bright note, Modeste is proud of the team’s attitude despite the loss. “Everyone’s been positive whether on or off the football field. We want positive guys on this team, and if we keep our heads held high, we will win our fair share of games,” said Modeste. The team will hope to use the upcoming bye week to fix holes in the offense and defense. When the team plays Choate on October 6, it will look to break its prolonged losing streak, which has extended to 13 games.