ANDOVER — An army of TV cameras waited anxiously for his attention. Reporters including legendary Boston sports anchor Mike Lynch tossed question after question his way.
Following another tremendous performance, always soft-spoken Andover quarterback C.J. Scarpa seemed almost embarrassed when asked to sing his own praise.
But while the record-setting signal-caller worked to side-step self-congratulations, his Golden Warrior teammates couldn’t say enough about their unassuming leader.
“C.J. was great again,” said senior receiver Cam Farnham. “He was fantastic. C.J. is the best player I have ever played with. He led us to victory again today, just like he has all season.”
In the most important game of his football career, Scarpa added possibly the greatest chapter to his record-setting campaign, as he accounted for all of Andover’s scores in the 22-19 victory over Central Catholic that clinched his Golden Warriors a playoff berth.
“He was amazing,” said receiver Andrew Deloury. “But C.J. amazes us every day, whether it’s practice or Friday nights. So many people questioned him, and he has certainly proved them wrong.”
Once doubted by many due to his size — listed at 5-foot-9 and 162 pounds — Scarpa’s numbers long ago told the story or a prolific passer. He entered the Thanksgiving encounter having already shattered the single-season Eagle-Tribune area record with 30 touchdown passes to go with 2,302 yards through the air in 2012.
And yesterday, with his team’s season on the line, the star came through in style, doing it all to secure a victory and a trip to the playoffs.
Scarpa put his team ahead with a pair of touchdown passes, including a 78-yard bomb to Farnham and a 9-yard rocket to Cole Organisciak. He then clinched the victory with his feet, scrambling for a 9-yard score against the MVC’s premier defense (16.2 points allowed a game).