ANDOVER — It was obvious to anybody watching Andover High football play last year that then-sophomores quarterback Scotty Brown and running back Lincoln Beal were on the verge of becoming very special.
On Friday, Shrewsbury High witnessed what locals had predicted in Andover’s 49-42 win.
Brown completed 15 of 19 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 85 yards and two TDs.
Beal rushed for a game-high 139 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns, which included a 79-yarder on the first play of the game, while hauling in four receptions for 59 yards and two scores.
“Number ten (Brown) and number two (Beal) were going to be a problem, they were on another level,” said Shrewsbury High coach John Alosi.
The game was see-saw battle with the teams alternating touchdowns. with Andover’s Beal, Brown (4-yard run), and Bret Mondejar (9-yard catch) with scores. Brown then hit Beal for a 12-yard touchdown, putting Andover ahead 28-21 at halftime.
Starting in the second half, the Golden Warriors scored three straight touchdowns — one for Brown (1-yard run) and two for Beal (12 and 1-yard runs) over the next 12 minutes to appear to put the game away.
But when Andover High coach E.J. Perry started substituting younger, Shrewsbury tallied three straight touchdown drives, one after recovering an onsides kick.
Andover was able to recover the last onsides kick attempt before Brown ended the game running for a first down on 3rd-and-2 with just over 1:30 remaining.
“We just feel like we’re a hard team to play against when we’re both on the field together,” said Beal. “He goes one and I go another. It opens things up. I love playing with Scotty. He’s amazing with the ball in his hands.”
Brown said that one area Beal has improved is receiving.
“We realized that Lincoln was also our best receiver,” said Brown. “And it’s not just him. I have a lot of teammates that can make plays.”
Adding a big day at receiver was Mondejar, who caught five passes for 110 yards.
While coach Perry says there are a few things to clean up, especially on defense, the Brown-Beal combo is going to be fun to coach the next two years.
“They were good last year, but they are so much better and so much more mature now,” said Perry. “We have some other young guys too. We’re starting five sophomores on both sides of the ball. Campbell Morrison, a sophomore, was incredible on defense making tackle after tackle.
“But in the end, Scotty and Lincoln will lead the way for us. I think we’re in good shape there.”
The Golden Warriors return to action on Friday, traveling to Acton-Boxboro (7 p.m.)