BILLERICA — Andover’s Will Heikkinen spent nearly the entire first half last night with the Billerica PA announcer mispronouncing his name “Heineken.”
But after the performance he delivered, Indians fans won’t be able to forget Heikkinen’s name.
The senior receiver/defensive back recorded three interceptions and notched 110 yards and two touchdowns receiving in just two quarters of play as Andover rolled to a 40-20 win over Billerica.
The victory sets up a winner-take-all Thanksgiving Day game with Central Catholic, with the victor earning the Merrimack Valley Conference Division 1 title and a playoff berth.
“That’s all we are going to be dreaming about for the next two weeks,” said receiver Cam Farnham, who had a touchdown reception. “Part of me was hoping that it would be decided on Thanksgiving, and now it will be.
“And how about Heikkinen? He was a glue stick out there. Everything stuck to him.” Known for his monster numbers on offense, Heikkinen was a nightmare for Billerica quarterback Justin Beck. He made three picks in just one half, spending the second half on the sidelines with the game out of reach.
The best was his first, when an Indians receiver juggled a pass and Heikkinen snatched it away.
“He threw it a little high and it hit his fingers,” said Heikkinen. “I wasn’t really ready for it, but I got it and tried to return it but ran into a few linemen.
“We knew (Beck) was a freshman and we knew he might miss a few people and make some mistakes. I knew I could stay with these guys and try to make a few plays.”
Heikkinen was also his normal prolific self on offense, needing just five catches to cover 110 yards and the two scores.
Watch out: When Beck wasn’t throwing to Heikkinen, he was running for his life against an Andover defense that sacked him eight times. Cole Oranisciak and Eduardo Powers each had two sacks while Ommell Bonilla, Nathaniel Altman, Ben Hartford and Andres Christopulos all got to the quarterback once.
“We had a tough loss against Lowell and we really wanted to make up for it,” said Altman. “We were faster than the Billerica offensive line, and that really motivated us. We wanted to prove we could play.”
INTs kept coming: Heikkinen wasn’t the only Golden Warrior to score a pick. Sophomore Zach Walker also had an interception and Brandon Marti picked off a pass that was called back for an off-sides penalty.
Make it 30: Andover QB C.J. Scarpa continued to distance himself from the old Eagle-Tribune area record for touchdown passes in a season. The senior now has 30 TDs for the year after throwing three last night. With a game still remaining in the regular season, Scarpa is now seven ahead of the previous area record.