Victory Close Enough to Taste; Andover Drops the Ball in Fourth Quarter

Nate Scyocurka ’13 dashed, juked and spun around the Deerfield kickoff team to return a kickoff for a 90-yard touchdown and tied Andover Football’s game up at 7-7 in the third quarter on Saturday. However, after an intercepted Andover pass and two Deerfield touchdowns in the fourth quarter, Andover ended up losing the game 21-7. The loss was Andover’s fifth of the season. Both teams displayed great defense in the first half, and it ended in a 0-0 stalemate. The highlight of the Andover defense in the first half was an interception by Jack MacWilliams ’15. In the third quarter, Deerfield drew first blood with an 11-yard rushing touchdown to gain a 7-0 lead. Andover quickly answered, and Scyocurka ran the ensuing kick-off 90-yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7. “Nate is a great player, and he has great vision when he carries the ball. He understands that sometimes you can get the big run, and that sometimes it is more important to get three yards and convert the third down. He’s a great open field runner and one of the best tacklers on the team,” said Coach Leon Modeste. Andover was marching up the field in the fourth quarter when Deerfield intercepted a pass and gained excellent field position. The interception allowed Deerfield to score an easy touchdown and put it on top 14-7. Deerfield added salt to the wound when it scored again on a six-yard touchdown run for a 21-7 lead. Andover failed to answer, and the game concluded in a 21-7 victory for Deerfield. Andover’s bright spot was its defense, which had four sacks and one interception. “Defensively, we had a great game. Our defensive line and linebackers really stepped it up, and we got three sacks from the [defensive] line and one from the linebackers. Captain Jack Ward [’13], Aaron Oberst [’13] and Rob Needham [’15] have a done a fantastic job containing the opponent’s offense,” said Modeste. But Andover’s offense struggled in both passing and rushing, as Andover completed less than 10 passes on 25 attempts for 72 yards, and gained just 3.4 yards per carry on the ground. “Deerfield’s defense played us to stop our run, and allowed us to pass. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to capitalize on the passing opportunities,” said Modeste. Larken Kemp ’13 led the receiving core, accounting for 39 of the team’s 72 total passing yards. Andover’s special teams were successful, with punts averaging nearly 36 yards and with three kickoff returns, which combined for over 150 yards. Looking ahead to its game against Worcester Academy tomorrow, Andover hopes to perform better offensively and gain more yards with both its running and passing game. “We are going to try to run a little more, pass a little more and keep Worcester’s offense off the field by moving the chains. We’re going to try to get positive yardage on each play and convert third downs. The most important aspect that we need is the running game,” said Modeste.