Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

November 28, 2013

Revenge day

Warriors feel ready to face Central Catholic

Central Catholic feels readyto face Central Catholic

Even Andover knows the challenge is great after its regular season loss.

The Golden Warriors’ Thanksgiving rival, Central Catholic, has already punched its ticket for the Division 1 Super Bowl, and will be playing at the home of the New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium, on Dec. 7.

But first, the Raiders will have to take on Andover High.

And the Golden Warriors have every intention of sending their archrival to the Super Bowl on a sour note, with a Gold and Blue victory on Thanksgiving Day.

“Being able to say that you beat the league champion and eventual state champion would be huge,” Andover senior linebacker Will Eikenberry said. “We are thrilled. We know they are great, but we are working hard and we feel like we have the skills and ability to beat them.”

Andover and Central will renew their Thanksgiving rivalry for the 40th straight season when they face off at Lawrence Stadium on Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

Central Catholic currently leads the Turkey Day grudge match 20-19-1 all-time, but Andover has won five of the last seven meetings, including two of the last three years in contests that decided the Merrimack Valley Conference Division 1 title and a trip to the playoffs.

Forget that the Raiders defeated the Warriors 26-7 in a rare regular season meeting back in September. The Andover squad that took the field for practice in freezing rain late last week feels like a different squad than the one that was on the field that day, and believes it can take down the Raiders.

“I don’t know how to explain it,” running back Jack Sylvester said. “It’s a little intimidating, but also really exciting. They bring size and toughness, but if we are tough and disciplined, we can beat them. Beating Central in my last football game ever would just be the icing on the cake.”

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