Jake Howell ’14 lept up in the air, wrestled with a defender, caught a pass with outstretched arms and barely managed to stay inbounds enroute to a 74-yard touchdown.
The touchdown was one of five in Andover’s 40-14 win against Loomis, the team’s first home victory since 2009. Andover currently leads the New England Prep School Athletic League with 40 points in one game.
Andover produced 24 points in the first half, while the defense shut out Loomis.
Ian Maag ’14, quarterback, and Ryder Stone ’14, running back, led the offense to 377 total yards, with Maag throwing for 156 yards and Stone rushing for 104 yards. Each scored two touchdowns.
Howell led the team in receptions and yardage, with three catches for 92 yards.
“Everybody did their job and Ian [Maag] was throwing the ball really well,” said Howell. “Ryder [Stone] was running the ball really well and the linemen opened up some great holes. We called a great balance of plays and the defense got us the ball, so we were on the field for a good amount of time.”
Maag, Stone and Howell lead the NEPSAC League players in passing yardage, rushing yardage and receiving yardage, respectively.
The defense forced three interceptions and a fumble, wreaking havoc on Loomis’s offense.
Michael Moore ’14 had two of the three interceptions, one of which he ran back for a touchdown in the first half.
Co-Captain John Cifrino ’14 said, “The key to our defense was simple—aggression. We fired through gaps and we put pressure on their offense, which led to their mistakes. We forced a bunch of turnovers…because we made them feel uncomfortable and created pressure.”
“We knew their [Loomis’s] quarterback threw the ball up in the air when he faced pressure, and that led to the two picks,” added Cifrino.
Andover’s defense limited Loomis to two touchdowns; Jumaane Ford ’16 credited this to all-around good play.
“Our corners covered their guys really well, we were really good up front and we didn’t get blown back by their offensive line too much. Michael [Moore] had a good game, and so did [Co-Captain] Tyler Marshall [’14],” said Ford.
At halftime, Assistant Coach Raj Mundra said, “We were aggressive, disciplined and we played together. This is what we envisioned it would be.”
After a strong scrimmage against BB&N, in which Andover triumphed 29-0, the was confident going into the regular season.
“[The BB&N scrimmage] really boosted our confidence,” said Ford. “They usually come in and it’s a really tough game, but we kind of rolled over them. We thought that Loomis was a tough team, but if we worked hard and played how we had been playing, then good things would happen.”
With a record of 1-0, Andover Football will play Kent this Saturday. The defense will look to minimize Kent’s rushing-off, their strong suit.
Cifrino said, “[Kent] run[s] the ball probably 90 percent of the time, and they’re going to want to control the clock, so we’re going to look to shut down their run game and hopefully we’ll see good results.”
With a defense that has limited opponents to only two touchdowns in the past two games, Andover will bring its momentum to Saturday’s game.