Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

October 24, 2013

Warriors top La Salle, set up crucial showdown

By David Willis
dwillis@andovertownsman.com

---- — It took La Salle, R.I., more than 3 1/2 hours to reach Andover from Providence through heavy Boston traffic last Friday.

It didn’t take anywhere near that long for the Golden Warriors to make Rams wish they had skipped the trip.

Linebacker/offensive weapon Will Eikenberry was a terror on both sides of the ball, and running back Jack Sylvester delivered his second straight huge week as Andover exploded for five first-half touchdowns and rolled to a 49-32 victory on Senior Night at Eugene V. Lovely Field.

“We put some points on the board early and it was a great night,” Eikenberry said. “We scored quick, got some big momentum and we kept the confidence going from the Billerica win. We are really hitting our stride.”

Andover must now beat Lowell this Friday for a chance at a playoff berth.

Eikenberry once again left fans buzzing following another dominant performance last week.

The linebacker did it all and more. He picked off a pass and ran it back 47 yards for a touchdown, ran for a 2-yard TD and caught a 15-yard pass for another score. He also controlled the defensive end, making 14 tackles.

When it wasn’t Eikenberry doing the damage, it was dynamic back Sylvester making life miserable for La Salle.

He finished his night with 206 yards on just 14 carries — his second straight 200-plus yard performance — and two rushing touchdowns. He had a third score on a 15-yard catch from Eberth.

“Having Jack going really makes a huge difference,” Eikenberry said. “It is just clicking. We are feeling good.”

Sylvester set the tone right away, breaking his first carry of the night for a 70-yard touchdown, and one possession later, Eberth took a fake punt 58 yards to the house for a touchdown.

On defense, tackle Ben Hartford added 12 stops, linemate Ommel Bonilla added 10 tackles and Sylvester picked off a pass.

“We came out slow but we are focused and playing our game now,” Bonilla said.

The Golden Warriors now face a must-win game on Friday, when they travel to face Lowell with a playoff berth on the line.

“The Lowell game is do-or-die,” lineman Matt Sutliff said. “We have to win. It’s going to be a battle.”

Andover 49, La Salle 32

Lasalle (3-3):  0 18 6 8 — 32

Andover (4-2): 14 21 7 7 — 49

First Quarter

A — Jack Sylvester 70 run (John Oteri pass from E.J. Perry IV), 7:45

A — Oliver Eberth 58 run (kick failed), 2:48

Second Quarter

L — Don’Trae Odufunade 8 run (run failed), 8:14

A — Sylvester 15 pass from Eberth (Ryan Payne kick), 5:35

L — C.J. Waite 20 pass from Jace Pena (pass failed), 2:28

A — Sylvester 69 run (Payne kick), 2:14

A — Will Eikenberry 47 interception return (Payne kick), 1:05

L — Pena 1 run (pass failed), 0:00

Third Quarter

L — Dimitri Ashby 1 run (pass failed), 3:35

A — Eikenberry 15 pass from Eberth (Payne kick), 0:00

Fourth Quarter

A — Eikenberry 2 run (Payne kick), 9:19

L — Lawrence Sabir 2 run (Keon Wilson pass from Pena), 7:20

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

RUSHING: A (26-267) — Jack Sylvester 14-206, Oliver Eberth 3-58, Will Eikenberry 3-15, Brandon Marti 1-8, Connor McCullough 1-0, E.J. Perry 2-(-10), Kevin Chen 2-(-10); L (43-148) — Don’Trae Odufunade 19-41, Jace Pena 12-49, Dimitri Ashby 12-58

PASSING: A — Eberth 13-20-0, 114, Perry 2-4-0, 16; L — Pena 12-29-1, 252

RECEIVING: A — Alex Marshall 4-27, Eikenberry 5-33, Christopher Nicholas 3-31, Marti 2-24, Sylvester 1-15; L — Avien Peah 2-73