By David Willis firstname.lastname@example.org
The Andover Townsman
---- — BILLERICA — Once the final whistle sounded to mark the end of the win over Billerica High, the Andover football team’s thoughts all focused on one moment 300 long hours away.
“(Thanksgiving) is all we are going to be dreaming about for the next two weeks,” said receiver Cam Farnham. “Part of me was hoping that it would be decided on Thanksgiving, and now it will be.”
The Golden Warriors rolled over Billerica 40-20 on Friday.
The victory set up a Turkey Day showdown with archrival Central Catholic, with the winner earning the MVC Division 1 title and a trip to the postseason.
This marks the second time in three years the two teams have met with the league title and a playoff berth on the line, with Andover rallying for the crown in 2010.
“This is huge,” said lineman Nathaniel Altman. “It’s just like two years ago. Central is a great team, but we need to focus for the next two weeks, make hits and get ready.”
The Golden Warriors barely broke a sweat on their way to setting up the Thanksgiving thriller, as they finished off the struggling Middies early on Friday.
By the time Andover ran its sixth offensive play, they had already scored three touchdowns, and their starters were done for the day with more than three minutes left in the second quarter and the Warriors holding a 40-6 lead.
Star receiver Will Heikkinen was a star on both sides of the ball against Dracut. He intercepted three passes as a corner back, and caught five passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns in just two quarters of play.
That all while the public address announcer mispronounced his name “Heineken” for the entire half. His best pick was his first, when he grabbed it as a Billerica player juggled it.
“He threw it a little high and it hit his fingers,” said Heikkinen. “I wasn’t really ready for it, but I got it and tried to return it but ran into a few linemen.
“We knew (QB Justin Beck) was a freshman and we knew he might miss a few people and make some mistakes. I knew I could stay with these guys and tried to make a few plays.”
When he wasn’t being picked off by Heikkinen -- or Zach Walker or Brandon Marti -- Beck was under constant pressure from the Andover front.
Cole Oranisciak and Eduardo Powers each had two sacks while Ommell Bonilla, Nathaniel Altman, Ben Hartford and Andres Christopulos all got to the quarterback once.
“We had a tough loss against Lowell and we really wanted to make up for it,” said Altman. “We were faster than the Billerica offensive line, and that really motivated us. We wanted to prove we could play.”
Andover QB C.J. Scarpa continued to rewrite the school for touchdown passes in a season. After throwing for three scores, two to Heikkinen and one to Farnham, on Friday he now has 30 on the season.
That all to set up a winner-take-all Turkey Bowl.
“We have two weeks to prepare for Central,” said Heikkinen. “We know what is on the line. If we win, we get the bragging rights, revenge from last year and a playoff berth. We wanted to go undefeated, but a win on Thanksgiving would make up for it.”
Friday, Nov. 9 highlights
Andover 40, Billerica 20
Andover (9-1): 26 14 0 0 — 40
Billerica (2-8): 6 0 6 8 — 20
A — Cam Farnham 5 pass from C.J. Scarpa (pass failed), 9:13
A — Jack Sylvester 1 run (pass failed), 5:30
B — Mark Duncan 64 pass from Justin Beck (kick failed), 5:12
A — Sylvester 88 kickoff return (Oliver Eberth kick), 4:55
A — Sylvester 6 run (Eberth kick), 1:30
A — Will Heikkinen 6 pass from Scarpa (Adam Ladd kick), 6:39
A — Heikkinen 40 pass from Scarpa (Ladd kick), 3:09
B — Alec Matta 27 pass from Beck (run failed), 7:25
B — Duncan 56 pass from Beck (Matt Clifford pass from Beck), 2:1
RUSHING: A (24-184) — Jack Sylvester 7-124, Connor McCullough 3-22, Jesse Greaves 4-17, Brandon Marti 5-15, C.J. Scarpa 1-4, Adam Enxing 2-3, Tyler Ferris 2-(-1); B (16-(-8)) — Nick Orekoya 4-13, Mike Casey 1-11, Matt Clifford 1-4, Justin Beck 10-(-36)
PASSING: A — Scarpa 10-12-0, 148, Enxing 2-3-0, 15, McCullough 0-1-0; B — Beck 10-26-4, 234 , Clifford 1-1-0, 25
RECEIVING: A — Will Heikkinen 5-110, Andrew Deloury 2-22, Cam Farnham 3-16, Greaves 1-9, Marti 1-6; B — Mark Duncan 4-139, Casey 3-66, Clifford 2-34, Alec Mattar 2-20