By Dave Dyer
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — All season long, North Andover quarterback Casey Walsh has contended that he has a wealth of receivers, and he trusts them all.
In the first half of yesterday’s 42-23 romp past Lynn English, Walsh underlined what he’s been saying all along. While completing 14 of 21 for a whopping 257 yards in just two quarters, he threw touchdowns to three different receivers and completed passes to six receivers overall.
“We like to throw to different guys if we can and we have confidence in them,” said North Andover coach John Rafferty.
Trailing 7-0 in the first quarter, Walsh opened the Knights’ scoring with a 53-yard strike to tight end Joe Samuelman, who was wide open over the middle. Later, on a bubble screen, he hit Bubba Shkliew, who split the defense on a 41-yard play, and then found Dan Waddell on an 8-yard scoring strike.
With the Knights ahead 28-13 at halftime, Lynn English (2-7) rallied after intermission with a field goal and beautiful 54-yard bomb from Lucas Harris to Daekwon Shepard, making it 28-23.
North Andover, however, recovered with two more scores and shored up its defense to put the game away.
The first score was a highlight play as Tom Stabile caught a backward pass from Walsh and then wheeled and delivered a 47-yard strike on a flea flicker to James Foote, who finished with five receptions for 142 yards. Walsh ran it in from eight yards for the final score.
Defensively, the Knights were led by junior linebacker Breyin Edwards, who had 12 tackles and an interception. Samuelman was also stout on defense and both Shkliew and Matt Iannone added interceptions. Iannone, who also had two receptions on offense, didn’t play in the second half because of a possible broken collarbone.
Lynn English managed only 76 yards of offense in the second half. Overall, the Knights (4-5) responded positively to last week’s heartbreaking last-minute loss to Waltham.
“That was a tough one and this helps,” said Rafferty. “I’m just happy for the kids that they could come back and play like this.”
North Andover will host Lynn Classical at 7 p.m. next Friday.
North Andover 42, Lynn English 23
Lynn English (2-7): 13 0 10 0 — 23
North Andover (4-5): 7 21 14 0 — 42
LE — Kyle O’Connor 6 run (Chris Lessard kick), 8:06
NA — Joe Samuelman 52 pass from Casey Walsh (Kyle Young kick), 6:21
LE — Chris Lessard 41 pass from Lucas Harris (kick failed), 1;43
NA — Tom Stabile 3 run (Young kick), 7:21
NA — Bubba Shkliew 41 pass from Walsh (Young kick), 3:29
NA — Dan Waddell 8 pass from Walsh (Young kick) :15
LE — Lessard 22 FG, 7:38
LE — Daekwon Shepard 54 pass from Harris (Lessard kick), 5:29
NA — James Foote 47 pass from Tom Stabile (Spencer Hagy pass from Walsh), 3:00
NA — Walsh 8 run (kick failed), :21
RUSHING: North Andover (34-142) — Tom Stabile 17-67, Casey Walsh 11-64, Breylin Nichols 2-3, Matt Driscoll 1-(-1), Jake Burkhardt 2-8, Bubba Shkliew 1-1; LE (37-93) — Zach Lozzi 12-39, Daekwon Shepard 8-56, Lucas Harris 14-(-16), Kyle O’Connor 2-9, Chayenne Sanchez 1-5
PASSING: North Andover — Walsh 14-25-1, 257, Stabile 1-1-0, 47; LE — Harris 6-22-3, 124
RECEIVING: North Andover — James Foote 5-142, Bubba Shkliew 5-65, Matt Iannone 2-25, Tyler Salois 1-12, Dan Waddell 1-8, Joe Samuelman 1-52; LE — Lessard 2-57, O’Connor 2-10, Shepard 2-57