Andover Football Suffers Devastating Loss to Cheshire Academy

With a series of defensive breakdowns and injuries, Andover Football suffered a brutal loss to Cheshire Academy (Cheshire) on Saturday. With a final score of 6-42, Andover Football’s record now stands at 1-2. 

Co-Captain Andrew DeBenedictis ’23 noted the defensive struggles of the game including coverage and tackling. DeBenedictis reflected on how Cheshire’s touchdown in the first play of the game made it difficult for the team to bounce back towards the end of the game.

“I think defensively we had them where we wanted them in terms of when the ball was delivered.. It was just after the ball was caught we made some errors, whether that was, you know, open field tackling, [or] sometimes [not] getting back in the proper coverage in the secondary… it was just a lot of mental errors. I think that kind of drove us in the wrong direction throughout the game on defense,” said DeBenedictis.

According to Logan Cove ’24, Cheshire was a physically intimidating team that initially wore out Andover. However, Cove states Andover was eventually able to identify the team’s drawback, leading to Andover scoring a last, second touchdown.

“I think we played a very high power team—super athletic and strong kids. In some aspects of the game [because of that], we were out powered just by their size. I don’t think that was any excuse for us, but I think one of their weaknesses was as the game progressed…they got complacent with how they were playing. We took advantage of that and ended up scoring towards the end of the game. It was great to see some guys getting in there, putting in the work, doing good.”

Co-Captain Aidan Porter ’23 echoed Cove’s sentiments, believing that the team made a great comeback in the second half of the game despite falling short to many big plays by Cheshire earlier.

Porter said, “The frustrating moments were earlier in the game; they had a lot of big plays where we got behind pretty quickly, but later in the game—that whole second half—we showed a lot of grit and a lot of fight. We played our hearts out that whole second half and actually won the second half.”

Looking ahead to the team’s next game, DeBenedictis stressed the importance of team cohesiveness, learning from the experience of playing Chesire. Moving forward, DeBenedictis hopes that the team can heighten its energy and composure. 

“The problem is that football is an eleven man sport, and you need all eleven guys doing their job… At certain times, you could see, let’s say nine guys doing their job, and the two other guys not doing theirs. So we just have to be more composed at these games, and this week’s practice has to be really efficient, really high energy,” said DeBenedictis. 

Andover Football will look to rebound against Taft at home this Saturday.