Despite being heavily outmatched, Andover still competed hard during the competition against Salisbury, according to Assistant Coach Lou Bernieri.
“The score belies the real story of the game. Our players put up a heroic fight against great odds. Their front line outweighed our line by 60, 70 and even 100 pounds and many of their linemen and skill players were highly recruited college athletes. We had several of our best players out with injuries and two more went down early in the game,” wrote Bernieri in an email to The Phillipian.
Against a high powered offense, Andover’s defense stood strong at the beginning of the game, according to Bernieri and Jake Ross PG’20.
“Our team made key defensive stops throughout the game and moved the ball through the air and ground. Eventually, they wore us down as most of our team plays on both sides of the ball,” wrote Bernieri.
“Our team was successful on defense. We were short-handed and had a lot of guys playing both sides of the ball, but we never gave up as a team,” added Ross.
According to Julio Dahl ’22, although Andover’s offense was constantly shut out, the team never gave up and scored on its last drive of the game.
“The last drive of the game was one of the best drives of the season. Before [our next game at Worcester Academy], we’ll have to work on our short passes so we are as successful as we were on our last drive against Salisbury,” said Dahl.
According to Ross, the team needs to work on getting healthy and regaining focus before its game against Worcester.
“We just have to keep improving on offense. Get the receivers and Quarterbacks working on the same page. We have to finish drives with touchdowns. Give our defense some rest. Our team is going to [work] on stopping their running attack while looking to expose their defense with our passing game,” said Ross.
Despite the final outcome, the game served as an opportunity for many players to get more playing time, according to Bernieri.
“Several players started their first Varsity game ever, and a number of them never left the field. Our kids never quit. They showed a lot of courage,” wrote Bernieri.
Andover will travel to Worcester next Saturday.