Football Goes Down in Tight Match Against Deerfield

After Deerfield handed the ball off to attempt running out the clock with a run play, defensive lineman Owen Deignan ’18 forced a fumble and gained Andover possession of the ball. However, Andover was unable to capitalize on this momentum and ultimately suffered a 0-7 loss to Deerfield on Sunday, bringing its record to 4-2.

The pouring rain and muddy field played a major role in the game, preventing players from moving effectively, according to Co-Captain Larson Tolo ’18.

In an email to The Phillipian, Tolo wrote, “The weather definitely affected the game. We played in what was essentially a mud bowl, as the grass and rain combination made it impossible to make hard cuts and set our feet.”

Head Coach Leon Modeste said, “We are very much a team with finesse and speed and quickness, and yesterday, playing in the mud, we couldn’t do any of those things. We could not get our footing. We couldn’t pass very well because the ball was wet, and on all our little quick steps we would slide and fall.”

The game was a defensive battle on both ends, with offenses struggling to move the ball up the field in the weather. The only points during the whole game came from a Deerfield touchdown.

Deignan said, “Our defense held them to seven points, which was excellent, but our offense desperately needed a push.”

Deerfield, with its reliance upon strength as opposed to Andover’s speed, was at an advantage in the rain, according to Coach Modeste.

Coach Modeste said, “Deerfield is a good team. They have only lost once. It’s not like they are a bad team that got lucky. Their game is better suited for mud. You can [play] a power game more easily in the mud than a speed game.”

“We had some opportunities, but then we would miss a pass or miss an assignment, and somebody would get sacked or caught for a loss,” Coach Modeste continued.

Moving forward, the team hopes to improve its mindset, according to Tolo.

Tolo said “We have the talent, the coaching, and the playbook to win games, but we have trouble maintaining our focus when we need big plays.”

This year’s team improved much from last fall, according to Deignan.

Deignan said, “We’ve improved on a lot of things from last year and our current record reflects it — 4-2 compared to 1-5.”

Next week, Andover will face off at home against Worcester Academy before its final game of the season at Exeter.

Editor’s Note: Larson Tolo ’18 is a Copy Editor for The Philllipian.