EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

October 18, 2013

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READY OR NOT

Talk about a must-win situation. When Methuen and North Andover collide tonight, it will be a real playoff separator.

Knights quarterback Casey Walsh expects his crew to be ready.

“We practiced hard all week. We’re ready. You should believe in us,” he lobbied. “If we play like we can play, we’ll be fine.”

Mistakes on both sides of the ball have plagued North Andover much of this year, but Walsh points to one moment where things started to click.

“Down 14-0 against Dracut, we came together at halftime,” said Walsh. “We knew we needed to get it done. That was our biggest rallying point in our season.”

LAST CHANCE FOR LANCERS?

Well maybe not the last chance this year for Lawrence High, but tonight’s trip to Dracut has to be considered the best opportunity for an LHS victory.

Dracut enters tonight with the same record as Lawrence, 0-5 overall and 0-3 in the league. Something has to give.

Chances are, it comes down to the QBs and the game features a couple good ones in Lawrence’s Nelson Valerio and Dracut’s Tyler Basset.

UPSET SPECIAL

Yep, I’m calling it. Merrimack can’t play defense, and Salem continues on the improve. The John Cerretani-to-Jake Poore connection through the air will punish the visiting Tomahawks.

Salem takes care of business and shocks Merrimack tonight for the biggest program win in a couple years anyways.

PLENTY OF EFFORT HERE

Look I get it. And I think the Hillies do too.

Haverhill has a monumental task ahead tonight at Tewksbury in the first home Friday nighter in Redmen country ever.

But if the Hillies fall, it won’t be due to lack of preparation. Coach Tim O’Connor has had his charges hanging out at the stadium deep into the night. The film work extends up until around 8 p.m. every night.

“Of course, it’s worth it,” said junior linebacker Phil Panici.

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