PEABODY — Andover just missed qualifying for the Division 1 North playoffs, but that hasn’t kept the Golden Warriors from enjoying themselves in the also-ran category.
One week after posting a 29-point victory, the Warriors continued their winning ways with a convincing 35-14 victory over Peabody last night. The offensive explosion held true to season-long form which has seen Andover post at least 33 points in each of their five wins, while being held to 22 or fewer in each of their four losses.
In their two outings since being knocked out of the tournament, the Warriors have outscored opponents 74-24.
“It’s really been fun,” said freshman quarterback E.J. Perry IV, who threw a pair of touchdowns and ran for a conversion. “It was one of the great moments of my high school career, starting out on a bad note and coming back like we did. It was just a blast to get on the field and play.
“We’ve gotten back on track, and we’re starting to gel together as a team. We’re putting up the points and starting to become a good offensive team.”
That offense spent more than 9 minutes watching the defense allow the Tanners (3-6) to go 90 yards on the game’s first possession and taking the lead. But the Warriors immediately took out their frustration as Oliver Eberth went 53 yards to paydirt on Andover’s first play from scrimmage.
Warrior coach E.J. Perry decided to hold onto that momentum with an onside kick and was rewarded with Christopher Nicholas’ recovery, setting up a quick 47-yard drive that culminated on Jack Sylvester’s 5-yard run for a 14-7 advantage.
“Coach (Ryan) Nolan and (Peter) Reilly do a tremendous job with the special teams,” Perry the elder said. “Those two worked all week and we saw on the film they were vulnerable to that. We just wanted to come out and make sure we took the lead and then went after them.”