Quarterback Davian McDonald ’25 threw a pass down the sideline to KJ Edwards PG’23 who split through the line of defense, scoring Andover’s first touchdown. After an even first quarter, Andover eventually fell to Williston Northampton, 14-49. Its record now stands at 1-4.
According to Co-Captain Aidan Porter ’23, Edwards’ touchdown provided a huge energy boost to the team after falling behind early on in the game. Though starting off slow, Andover was able to rejuvenate itself through positive offensive plays.
“That early touchdown that Williston had on us that got us down a little bit, but when we were able to generate that big play from Davi to KJ, that definitely got us right back where we needed to be,” said Porter.
Thomas O’Brien ’23 believes that the first quarter was the strongest for Andover. Individual players were making great plays and keeping in pace with Williston, but the lack of team chemistry translated to the ineffectiveness of those plays.
O’Brien said, “We stuck with them. It was a close game up until that point. I mean everyone had their points where they were playing [well]. We just didn’t have cohesion at those points. We weren’t all playing [well] together.”
According to Porter, he has been impressed with the team’s growth in recent games. Now, the team is able to work more efficiently on offense, as well as persevere through pressure. As a co-captain, Porter hopes to encourage developing those skills.
“We proved that in spurts, we can do some really good things offensively. We ran the ball pretty well in the first half of the game. We had some long balls that got where they needed to go, so offensively we had some more things that started clicking for us. That was a really strong point in our game,” said Porter.
Justin Hardy ’23 observed a clear level of improvement from this season compared to the last. With the incoming PGs and a new quarterback, Andover is focused on refining the players and working on the building blocks of a cohesive team.
Hardy said, “Each week we get more chemistry as a team, we get a little bit better, and the teams that we’ve been playing, obviously, we played them last year, and they’re telling us how much better we look than we have in previous years, so I think we are seeing improvements even though the score might not be reflecting that.”
In spite of facing many injuries and readjusted lineups this season, younger players have started leading and playing to fill different roles, which has been fulfilling to see for O’Brien.
“Everyone has especially [grown, especially] the younger kids. We have two or three [Lowers] who stepped up and started these past couple of games with kids going down with injuries and they’ve fit right in and played their best. So huge improvements since the start of the season,” said O’Brien.
Porter shared similar sentiments to O’Brien in terms of the team diversity. With the new players and new positions, Andover is drilling a variety of offensive and defensive plays day by day as the team gets comfortable with them.
“So, we came into this year with a completely new offense and defense from what we ran in years past and it was a bit of a learning curve for all of us, but, we’re starting to get things bit by bit and the more we’re able to add to our playbook both offensively and defensively. I think it makes us much more versatile and then from that point on, once we just keep repping our plays, they’re just going to come that much more natural to us,” said Porter.
Andover Football will face Brunswick away this Saturday.