EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

December 8, 2012

A look back at the 2012 high school football season

2012 season featured three 2,000-yard rushers

It’s the era of the passing game, so many will say.

Running the football has become a relic of the sport, which is now based upon fast-paced, no-huddle offenses and chucking the football. The ground game has become as outdated as leather helmets.

Right?

Don’t tell that to football teams around The Eagle-Tribune region.

This fall, a whopping three area running backs rushed for over 2,000 yards. That number is especially jarring because heading into this season, only three area rushers TOTAL had done it since The Eagle-Tribune began keeping complete records in 1993.

The elite mark was hit by:

A returning Eagle-Tribune All-Star — Haverhill’s Chance Brady (2,063).

A burly back in a smash-mouth offense — Greater Lawrence’s Cristian Rivera (2,008).

An upstart speedster in his first season as a featured back — Pentucket’s Cody Rothwell (2,019).

Add to that tremendous seasons from the likes of North Reading’s Carl Lipani and Pinkerton’s Manny Latimore and Ground and Pound is alive and well in the Merrimack Valley.

But don’t tell Andover’s C.J. Scarpa and Brady’s backfield mate, Haverhill QB Tommy Morgan, that there aren’t any superstar signal-callers around.

And Central Catholic’s Santino Brancato and the Astros’ Matt Madden would likely tell you that defense can also dominate.

After a year of amazing stats and heart-stopping moments, here is a look back at the 2012 high school football season.

Top five moments

1. Play of the Year, offense — With a defender holding tight to his left arm, and the ball overthrown, Andover’s Andrew Deloury reached out and grabbed the rocket pass out of the air with just his right hand for a spectacular touchdown against Tewksbury. He later clinched the win by recovering an on-sides kick.

2. Play of the Year, defense — In a scene out of every rag-tag football movie ever made, Chelmsford called on a hook-and-ladder play as time expired.

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