EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

November 17, 2012

No Madden spelled doom for Astros

EXETER, N.H. – Attempting to slay Exeter without linebacker Matt Madden was a lot like a fencer preparing to duel without his sword.

Succeeding was nearly impossible.

“I’m not going to make that excuse. Obviously it didn’t help us, that’s part of football. But that one hurt a lot,” said Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly after yesterday’s 31-21 state championship loss to Exeter.

“I don’t want to contradict what I just said, but he’s the leading tackler on our team, with twice as many as the next kid. Not having him in the middle did not help. We could not get them off the field.”

The junior Madden tore his ACL in the regular-season finale against Nashua South. Pinkerton’s dominance against a spread attack like South in the semifinals. Against Exeter and it’s tackle-to-tackle meat-grinder of an offense? Let’s just say Madden was truly missed.

O’Reilly loses Madden on two fronts.

“He won’t be back in time for lacrosse either,” the coach lamented.

Major prediction

Madden, clearly a leader more than just on the field, made a note to the media afterward.

“Write this down, I’m coming back, and we’re going to win this thing next year,” he said.

Bold words and an interesting statement worth pondering.

With Madden, Pinkerton had only four non-senior starters in the lineup this fall.

There’s the franchise Manny Latimore, split end James Toohey and defensive tackle Phil Harper.

That’s not a ton, but Latimore says you had better believe.

“Matt Madden is the heart and soul of this football team, and he will be the heart and soul next year, too,” said Latimore. “We have a great class coming back. We’re definitely looking to win it next year.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement Draft Preview: Chris Davis Draft Preview: Jay Prosch Watson: 'I'm always going to cry' Is the use of pine tar considered cheating? Draft Preview: Jake Matthews Draft Preview: L'Damian Washington
Boston Sports
Iginla hungry for first Stanley Cup Running Strong: How the Bruins National Anthem brought Boston together Patriots Talk TV: Should the Pats abandon the 2 TE system? Brad Stevens: Hopeful season was a 'learning experience' for young Celtics Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday McAdam: MLB replay system already affecting Sox Running Strong: Marathon Sports Manager, Shane O'Hara reflects back on Marathon bombings Merloni: An imperfect game we're trying to make perfect Felger sounds of on the MLB replay system McAdam: Pedroia D.L. stint 'not hard to imagine' NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders