Early in Andover Football’s game against Deerfield, Jack Belluche ’16 read the play of the Deerfield’s quarterback, stepped in front of the intended receiver and intercepted the ball. He saw nothing but green standing between him and the end-zone and sprinted to the goal line, scoring a touchdown to push Andover’s lead to 12-0.
“I saw the quarterback stare down his receiver, and I just took advantage of his poor decision,” wrote Belluche in an email to The Phillipian.
Belluche’s pick-six catapulted Andover to its largest offensive output of the season, helping to down Deerfield 32-24. The win improved Andover’s record to 2-4.
In addition to Belluche’s score, Max Anthony ’15 added two touchdowns, John Simourian ’16 had one and Nick Forti ’15 scored another late in the game.
“We were able to move the ball very effectively. Our offense executed very well, and our defense played outstanding,” wrote Anthony in an email to The Phillipian.
Andover led 18-3 at halftime, only the second time Andover has led at halftime this season.
Andover’s defensive line put consistent pressure on the quarterback. Captain Rob Needham ’15 recorded three sacks, and AJ McFarlane ’15 tacked on one more. Noah Ward ’17 added a hurry and a batted pass.
“Our defensive line put on a good pass rush, got some sacks and pressured the quarterback to throw some bad passes. I just happened to slip through and I got my hands up to block the pass,” wrote Ward in an email to The Phillipian.
The offense amassed 301 total yards, 236 of which came on the ground.
“Both [Jumaane Ford ’16] and [Anthony] rushed for 100 yards each, which we haven’t had in a long time from two different backs. That really contributed to our offensive success,” said Head Coach Leon Modeste.
The team saw that it had a size advantage over Deerfield and capitalized on that opportunity.
“Their line was a lot smaller than the other lines we have faced, and they weren’t very fast either. Our line was a lot heavier and faster which allowed us to dominate them,” said Cameron Fryer ’15 in an email sent to The Phillipian.
Needham added, “It was really a team win. We got a couple guys back from injury, and it made a huge difference.”
With Andover’s confidence at a season-high, the team hopes to carry its momentum into next week and the rest of the season.
“We have to continue to work on staying healthy and executing plays efficiently so that we can defeat our upcoming opponents — especially Exeter,” said Belluche.
Andover will have its hands full with a talented 4-2 Worcester Academy team this Saturday. This game will be Andover’s last game before squaring off against Exeter in two weeks.