After a thrilling overtime victory just a week ago at Kent, Andover Football was dominated 41-12 by Loomis Chaffee. Despite a strong performance in the first half, the team was unable to carry its momentum into the second half, resulting in its first loss of the season. Andover’s record now stands at 1-1.
According to Joseph Carrara ’24, the team started off well in the first quarter but fell apart as the game went on.
Carrara said, “I would definitely say that our first quarter was probably our highlight; we played tough. After the first quarter, we kind of died down a little bit, but we were definitely proud of the [team’s performance] in the first quarter.”
The defense also performed well at the beginning of the game, providing the team with a stop, giving Andover the confidence to keep fighting, according to Andrew DeBenedictis ’23.
In a letter to The Phillipian, DeBenedictis wrote, “One highlight, in particular, was the start of the game. On Loomis’ first offensive possession, our defense made a huge stop to hold them to a field goal. I think this gave our team a necessary boost of confidence as the quarter progressed. By the middle of the second quarter, our offense put together a nice drive where we scored on a deep pass. This really energized our team and the crowd.”
The team has the ability to win games, but it needs to work together and be focused on every play in order to get positive results, according to Davian McDonald ’25.
McDonald said, “I think we have all the players and what it takes to beat anybody that comes against us, but I think we just have to work on working as a team together and being more disciplined… We have to worry about ourselves and play our own game.”
According to DeBenedictis, the team needs to improve on its communication and discipline while on the field.
“One thing we need to work on is communication both on offense and defense. On multiple occasions, lapses in communication lead to negative plays on both sides of the ball. However, I thought we fought well up until the very end of the game,” wrote DeBenedictis in a letter to The Phillipian.
According to Justin Hardy ’23, the team was resilient, but it needs technical work heading into its next game.
In a letter to The Phillipian, Hardy wrote, “One thing the team did really well was keeping our heads in the game and not giving up. The coaches were proud of everyone for staying focused despite the tough matchup. For the next game, we’ll have to work on a little bit of fine-tuning and timing but otherwise, we just need to be locked in and play our hearts out at Taft.”
According to DeBenedictis, Jesse McCullough PG’22 was one of the team’s stronger performers, reaching the end zone twice and impressing on the defensive side of the ball.
In a letter to The Phillipian, DeBenedictis wrote, “I thought McCullough played very well. He scored our only touchdowns of the game, and played solid defense at the cornerback position throughout.”
Andover will have plenty of time to recover from this loss, with its next game against Taft in two weeks, on October 9, where it will look to get back to its winning ways.