Andover football is finally back where it belongs.

A year after their football season was moved to “Fall 2” the Golden Warriors have returned to the true fall. And with an explosive offense and playmakers on defense, the Warriors couldn’t be more excited for the season.

“Growing up in my household, fall meant football season,” said All-MVC Andover quarterback Scotty Brown. “It’s the time when people who came before us and kids who will come after us come and watch us play. There are only so many of these Friday nights left, and it’s going by quick, so we are going to take advantage of it.”  

That first chance to play under the Friday Night Lights this fall has finally arrived.

Andover will kick off its 2021 fall season on Friday, when the Golden Warriors welcome Shrewsbury to Eugene V. Lovely Field for a 7 p.m kickoff.

“Now that we’re (so close to) our first game, the team is super excited and really starting to mentally lock in,” said captain PJ Reming. “With COVID affecting us this past year and a half, I think we all realize how fortunate we are to play this game and are looking forward to a normal season.”

There’s plenty of reasons to be excited for these Golden Warriors, who many are picking to contend for a Division 1 North championship.

EXPLOSIVE OFFENSE

Leading the way for Andover is the dynamic backfield duo of Brown and All-Scholastic running back Lincoln Beal, both of whom have started since their freshman year.

“The chemistry that Scotty and Lincoln have is unbelievable,” said captain Tyler Acheson. “And they are so fast.”

Just a junior, Beal has already established himself as one of the state’s premier running backs. In Fall 2, Beal carried 114 times for 703 yards and six touchdowns rushing and caught 26 passes for 412 yards and three TD — both team-highs. During the summer he impressed at Rutgers, URI and Brown camps and at Boston College’s junior day.

Brown, a dual-threat QB, completed 53 of 102 passes for 730 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 449 yards and 10 touchdowns on 102 carries in Fall 2.

“On offense, our major strength is our run game,” said Reming. “With Scotty and Lincoln in the backfield together, they keep you on your toes because at any point they can make a big play happen.”

Reming is among the receivers who have caught varsity passes, along with Andrew Wetterwald and Bret Mondejar. Coach E.J. Perry said that junior Andrew Wright is also stepping up at receiver.

Leading the offensive line with be returning starters Jason Osborne, Danny Hunter and Luke Newton.

“We have lot of talent,” said Osborne, also a captain. “We have a great backfield, some young and talented receivers and a strong offensive line. We just need to clean up a few things and we will be ready to rock and roll.”

YOUNG AND DANGEROUS DEFENSE

Beal with also be leading the way on defense. The linebacker made 34 tackles in Fall 2, most among returning players. He also had two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Defensive back Wetterwald also made plays on defense last season (14 tackles, interception, forced fumble). Fellow receiver Reming should also be a key player at defensive back.

Another leader in the defensive backfield should be senior Acheson, who has had a breakthrough offseason. He could be joined in the starting lineup by his freshman brother Connor Acheson.

“On defense we have a ton of talent,” said Tyler Acheson. “Our defensive backs include Tyler Fabbri, Chris Dessin and Andrew Walles. Safeties Brian Hnat and Patrick Cote are playing unbelievable together. Our linebackers LOVE to hit. We have Lincoln Beal, Will Sheehan, Brian McSweeney and Sammy Joseph. And our line this year continues to grow.”

Osborne, at 6-foot-2 and 245 pounds, has looked strong at nose guard, and should lead the defensive line.

“Jason has made himself bigger and faster,” said Perry. “He has had a tremendous summer of working out and opening eyes at camps for numerous colleges.”

On special teams, Wetterwald was 24 for 24 in extra points and 4 of 6 on field goals in Fall 2, and Beal and Brown are dangerous kick returners.

With the season underway, what are the Golden Warriors’ goals?

“We are hoping to build off of our previous winning season,” said Reming, “win the MVC and work our way to a spot in the state tournament playoffs where we can hopefully make a deep run.”

Football Preview

Coach E.J. Perry: (12th year, 70-45)

2021 Fall 2 record: 5-2

Offense: Spread; Defense: 4-3

Returning starters (7): Lincoln Beal, Jr., RB/LB, 6-0, 200; Scotty Brown, Jr., QB, 5-9, 155; Luke Newton, Sr., OL/LB, 6-0, 195; PJ Reming, Sr., WR/DB, 5-9, 145; Danny Hunter, Jr., OL/DL, 5-11, 200; Jason Osborne, Jr., OL/DL, 6-1, 245; Andrew Wetterwald, Jr., WR/DB/K, 6-0, 175

Returning lettermen: Tyler Acheson, Sr., WR/DB, 5-7, 140; Alex DelFavero, Sr., OL/DL, 6-2, 265; Tyler Fabbri, Sr., WR/DB, 5-9, 160; Evan Hadad, Jr., RB/ILB, 5-8, 170; Kaydyn Houth OL/DL, 5-10, 230; Joseph Loureiro, Jr., RB/OLB, 5-10, 165; Juemil Mejia, Jr., OL/DL, 5-7, 205; Bret Mondejar, Jr., WR/DB, 5-7, 130; Will Sheehan, Jr., RB/OLB, 6-2, 195; Andrew Wright, Jr., WR/DB, 6-0, 155; Andrew Call, Soph., OL/DL, 6-1, 200; Sammy Joseph, Soph., RB/LB, 5-7, 195

Promising newcomers: Tony Cocchiaro, Sr., OL/DL, 6-0, 215; Gani Defilippis, Sr., DB/WR, 6-0, 145; Nick Entner, Sr., OL/DL, 6-0, 225; Davis Holland, Sr., LB, 5-10, 185; Chris Bodnaruk, Jr., WR/LB, 5-11, 175; Elijah Botkin, Jr., WR/CB, 5-11, 145; Bredy Malachi, Jr., RB/LB, 5-7, 165; Michael Capachietti, Jr., WR/DB, 6-0, 126; Patrick Layman, Jr., RB/DB, 5-8, 130; Andrew Magner, Jr., WR/DB, 5-10, 165; Alex McNally, Jr., QB/DB, 6-2, 176; Stephen Medieros, Jr., OL/DL, 6-0, 190; Harshil Patel, Jr., OL/DL, 5-10, 200; Henry Prussman, Jr., WR/DB, 5-8,137; Andrew Salowe, Jr., WR/DB, 6-0, 140; Tyler Wilson, Jr., WR/DB, 6-1, 170; Chris Dessin, Soph., QB/WR/DB, 6-0, 160; Shadany Betances, Soph., RB/CB, 5-11, 153; Johnny Enman, Soph., QB, 6-1, 175; Brian Hnat, Soph., WR/LB, 6-4, 170;

Connor Lebrun, Soph., WR/DB, 5-7, 140; Campbell Morrison, Soph., RB/LB, 5-9, 167; Abel Carter, Soph., OL/DL, 5-11, 180; Michael Andelman, Soph., WR/DB, 6-0, 126; Will Barcelo, Soph., WR/DB, 5-11, 153; Shaden Brown, Soph., WR/DB, 5-9, 135; Brady Carlson, Soph., OL/DL, 6-0, 202; James Comerford, Soph., WR/LB, 6-0, 180; Patrick Cote, Soph., WR/DB/K, 5-9, 159; Jason DeJesus, Soph., WR/DB, 5-7, 150; Matt Diusniewski, Soph., OL/DL, 6-3, 200; Johnny Enman, Soph, QB, 6-1, 175; Jamyl Figueroa, Soph., WR/LB, 5-9, 181;

Liam Finn, Soph., OL/DL, 6-0, 210; Gabriel Logan, Soph., OL/DL, 5-7, 207; Owen Haplin, Soph., WR/DB, 5-8, 125; Nate Hemman, Soph., OL/DL, 6-0, 180; Max Hoffman, Soph., WR/DE, 6-1, 180; Joseph Samiel, Soph., RB/LB, 5-7, 195; Brian McSweeney, Soph., RB/LB, 6-0, 165; Miranda Santiago, Soph., OL/DL, 6-0, 190; Logan Mulcah, Soph., OL/DL, 5-9, 210; Cam Norton, Soph., RB/DE, 5-9, 180; Adiel Oquendo, Soph., OL/DL, 6-2, 211; Brian Quigley, Soph., OL/DL, 6-1, 220; Ismael Rodriguez, Soph., WR/LB, 6-0, 165;

Erich Rumson, Soph., OL/DL, 5-9, 172; Anthony Salazar, Soph., WR/DB, 5-10, 166; Ricky Santagati, Soph., WR/DB, 5-10, 130; Armand Tenore, Soph., WR/DB, 5-10, 172; Andrew Walles, Soph., WR/CB, 6-0, 165; Austin Williamson, Soph., OL/DL, 6-0, 210; Ryan Zannoni, Soph., OL/DE, 6-0, 190; Connor Acheson Frosh., RB/DB, 5-9, 174

Captains: Tyler Acheson, Jason Osborne, Lincoln Beal, Scott Brown, Tyler Fabbri, PJ Reming

Assistants: Corey Steele (defensive line), Rich McKenna (linebackers), Scott Boyle (defensive backs), Matt Silva (QBs), Gustavo Cruz (offensive line), Cam Farnham (receivers), Chris McCarthy (running backs), Peter Reilly (special teams), Tim McCarron (JVs); Freshman: PJ Farnham, Rick Quattrocchi, Cedric Gillette

 

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Contact David Willis at @DWillisET or DWillis@eagletribune.com.

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