Recovering their own onside kick from the kickoff, Williston Northampton started off strongly and then went on to score on the very next play. Andover Football struggled to recover from the early deficit, resulting in a 28-40 loss which now drops its record to 1-3.
According to Co-Captain Julio Dahl ’22, because Williston was playing in its homecoming game and had an electric atmosphere behind it, the team ran two very risky but successful plays at the beginning—the onside kick and the resulting score.
Dahl said, “The atmosphere was good, it definitely was an advantage for them to be at their home field. I think it was advantageous for them to have that home-field advantage, and they got off to a really fast start. They had a few trick plays at the beginning”
The team looked to bounce back from their tough loss against Taft the previous week, but faced many challenges on Saturday, according to Henry Sheldon ’24.
Sheldon said, “One of our players got injured during warmups which definitely caused some negative feelings, but [the main problem was that] we just gave up big plays [that] really hurt us.”
According to Dahl, the long bus ride and the rainy weather made it even more difficult to bounce back from the tough start.
Dahl said, “I think a big challenge was the bus ride, and then it started raining in the second half. It was hard to start throwing the ball in the second half, and we were down two scores, so it was hard to make those big plays when we were confined to the run game.”
Andover looked to anticipate how to overcome these challenges this week in practice. According to Andrew DeBenedictis ’23, the team had a slow week in practice prior to the Williston game and is increasing the intensity this week.
DeBenedictis said, “One challenge we faced heading into the week was being able to keep a competitive atmosphere in practice. Like I said before it wasn’t a crazy intense week so we were sometimes a little flat during practice. This week we are hitting [each other] a lot more and the practices are more intense”
Ahead of the team’s game against Brunswick, Dahl believes that everyone, on an individual basis, needs to focus on their execution the most.
Dahl said, “We need to focus on executing better, our bread and butter plays that we run, and working on efficiency on offense, and making sure everyone knows what they are doing and has their assignments, and most importantly, everyone is doing their job.”
Andover Football looks to bounce back at home Saturday against Brunswick in its first home game in nearly a month.