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Football Struggles to Find Offensive Momentum

After three unsuccessful attempts from the half-yard line, Max Anthony ’15 squeezed through a hole opened up by the offensive line to score his — and the team’s — second touchdown of Andover Football’s game on Saturday against Worcester.

“It was hard to move the ball up front, but it was a great feeling. Our line pushed everyone around and opened up a hole for me, so it was pretty easy to find the end zone,” said Anthony.

Anthony’s touchdown narrowed the deficit to only one-point by halftime, 14-13. Despite a strong start, Andover was unable to drum up any semblance of momentum in the second half, falling victim to a 21-0 run by Worcester that left Andover down 35-13 to Worcester.

Head Coach Leon Modeste said, “We had a couple of breaks, and they were passing too much, which kept us in the game, because we did pretty [well against their passes].”

By the second half, Worcester’s offense developed an effective strategy against Andover.

“When they took the ball and they took their big guys and just pounded straight ahead, we had no answer for it. We just couldn’t stand up to it. They were physically overpowering. They realized what they needed to do, and they shoved it down our throats,” said Modeste.

Andover’s offense struggled to move the ball consistently at many points throughout the game.

Between Andover’s two quarterbacks, Taylor Beckett ’17 and Travis Lane ’18, there were two completed passes for a total of 20 yards.

“The positives were that we [could] use both of our young quarterbacks. We have two baby blue quarterbacks: one is in tenth grade and the other in ninth grade,” Modeste said.

Andover’s run game was successful when the line created opportunities for the team. Andover had a total of 156 yards.

Mike Panepinto ’15 rushed for 70 yards, Anthony for 60 and Jack Belluche ’16 for 16.

AJ McFarlane ’15 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “The defense played excellent, keeping it close the entire time.”

The defense had a total of 47 tackles during the game: eight by Noah Ward ’17, seven by McFarlane, six by Foster Leboeuf ’15 and five each from Captain Rob Needham ’15 and Cameron Fryer ’15.

The team remains optimistic as more players are recovering from their injuries. Andover expects to have a full team on Saturday.

“I am very excited, because this will be the first game all year that everyone is healthy,” wrote Fryer in an email to The Phillipian.

The team will buckle down in practice in preparation for its matchup against Exeter at the annual Andover-Exeter contest this Saturday at home.

“We are on to Exeter. We need to have a strong week of practice and to execute Saturday,” Needham wrote in an email to The Phillipian.

Andover hopes to open strong and feed off the support from its fans to secure a win against its age-old rival.