It was a moment that could have swung the game in a different direction.
On 4th-and-goal, late in the second quarter and trailing by three touchdowns, Methuen’s Erick Lucas was stuffed by a swarm of Andover tacklers.
On the very next snap, prolific Andover passer E.J. Perry IV used his legs for a 99-yard touchdown run, busting the game open as the Golden Warriors breezed to a 48-13 win.
“That was a 14-point swing,” said Andover head coach E.J. Perry. “That really made the difference in the game. If they score there, it’s 28-14 and anything can happen. That’s a huge swing.”
Andover, which lost its first two games of the season to powerhouses B.C. High and Billerica, has now won three games in a row.
“We knew the beginning of our schedule was tough but it would prepare us for this run,” coach Perry said. “We wanted to be in position to win the MVC in the last two weeks, and now we’re here. We have work to do. We know what we need to do, there are some things we need to clean up, but we’re where we want to be.”
Methuen was without quarterback Jordan Perdomo, with David Kelly, the team leader in receptions, taking over under center.
The Rangers were also able to disrupt the Andover offense at times with pressure up the middle and on the outside, forcing Perry IV to scramble out of the pocket.
But the Andover quarterback was cool under the pressure, completing 13 passes for 167 yards. On the ground, Perry added 170 yards rushing on six carries.
Perry accounted for six of Andover’s seven scores, with four touchdown passes (he now has 92 for his career and 25 in five games this fall) and two rushing scores.
“They did some things on defense that we needed to adjust to,” Coach Perry said. “Once we did, we were blocking well. They were slanting and blitzing and taking away the edges. We had to block well and we did a nice job.”
Andover was without the area’s top receiver Dan Gemmell but Joe Rockwell (6-101, 2 TD catches) picked up the slack.
Andover has two huge road games the next two weeks which will decide the MVC Large, playing at Haverhill next Friday and then at Central Catholic in two weeks.