In the second quarter of Andover Football’s game against Salisbury, Post-Graduate (PG) Quarterback Stephen Hedberg ’17 sent the football out to T.J. Urbanik ’17 and Will Sirmon ’17 on two separate plays. Both Urbanik and Sirmon scored touchdowns to narrow Salisbury’s lead to just eight points, but Andover ultimately went on to fall 41-14.
Despite the loss, Andover played valiantly on both sides of the ball.
Head Coach Leon Modeste said, “When we went down 22-0 we could have certainly quit right there… kids have been known to pack it in right then, but we didn’t. And over the next 50 plays we played quite well.”
Salisbury came out strong, putting 22 points on the board in the first quarter. However, Andover did not give up easily and rallied back. Michael Codrington ’18 said, “This past weekend our passing game really came alive. Our offensive line did a good job protecting our quarterback so that he could make his reads.”
Staying disciplined was crucial for Andover. The team answered Salisbury with two great defensive stands and some offensive opportunities.
Unfortunately, Andover was plagued by turnovers for the rest of the game and could not find the end zone.
On the defensive side of the ball, Adam Cohen ’18 recorded four tackles, and now leads the team with 20 tackles so far this season. Teammate Urbanik has also showcased his talents this season both offensively and defensively; he has made over ten tackles, racked up 61 receiving yards, and rushed for 42 yards.
Coach Modeste said, “Adam Cohen is the heart and soul of our defense. He just makes things happen all the time. T.J. Urbanik is a receiver, a running back, and a defensive back; he does absolutely everything well. He is a tremendous football player. Those two guys certainly stand out.”
Ultimately, a few costly errors made by Andover were the main reason for its loss. Codrington said, “We failed to communicate on the defensive side of the ball both in coverage and identifying if it was a run or a pass play.”
At practice this week, Andover looks to continue to develop its running game in order to give Urbanik more touches, as well as limiting the amount of turnovers made through passing.
Kicker Alex Apgar ’17 said, “We can improve all around, no one did their job to perfection. [Specifically], if we can focus on stopping the big plays which really hurt us in the long run.”
This weekend Andover hopes to rise to the occasion when it travels to face an undefeated Choate team. Coach Modeste said, “They are a very good football team, but we are going to play our game. We are going to have to play our best game. Hopefully we will be able to slip one in on them.”