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Football’s Late Rally Falls Short Against Choate

Late in the third quarter, quarterback Robert Jones ’16 evaded blitzing Choate linemen, shook off tackles and dove through two defenders to score Andover’s first touchdown against Choate on Saturday. Jones’s third quarter touchdown and the ensuing two-point conversion cut Choate’s lead to 14-8, marking Andover’s offensive revival. In the end, however, Andover Football could not overcome Choate’s lead, eventually losing 27-15.

Andover had an undefeated 2-0 record heading into the game, while Choate was the defending 2014 New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Champion. Choate had also gotten off to a strong 3-0 start to the 2015 season, outscoring its opponents by a combined score of 131-15.

Choate jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead in the first quarter, using its potent run game and elite offensive line to exploit Andover’s defense. Initially, Andover struggled to defend Choate’s offensive strategy, but soon adapted and held its opponent to a scoreless second quarter.

Lineman Adam Cohen ’18 said, “[In the second quarter], we had several big third down plays on defense to keep the game going.”

Post-Graduate (PG) James Antoine ’16 and Cohen made several crucial tackles throughout the quarter to stifle Choate’s ground attack. Andover proved that it could hold its own against Choate’s superior size.

Jack Belluche ’16 said, “Choate was physically bigger and faster, but we worked just as hard on offense and defense.”

Choate extended its lead to 14-0 with another touchdown at the beginning of the third quarter, but Andover rallied with Jones’s rushing touchdown and a quick two-point conversion to PG Hallvard Lundevall ’16. The effort was not enough, however, as Choate piled on 13 more points to solidify its lead.

Nonetheless, Andover attempted to mount a determined comeback in the game’s dying moments.

“Even though we were down, we gave it our all and tried to make a comeback in the fourth quarter,” said Belluche.

Andover notched another touchdown in the fourth quarter to bring the score to 27-15, but was unable to sustain its offensive momentum afterward.

In the future, Andover hopes to improve its run game to supplement its strong passing offense.

Cohen said, “Once everyone finds their way of getting past linemen, we will be unstoppable.”

Andover looks to bounce back from the tough loss in its next game this Saturday against Cushing.