Scholfield starts Andover on the way to win over Eisenhower
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ANDOVER Wins are nice for Andover defensive lineman A.J. Scholfield, but after a while they can get a little repetitive.
The job never really changes for the 241-pound senior — go after the opposing quarterback, provide depth in the Trojans’ run coverage, and maybe bat down an occasional pass.
Those were his tasks again Friday against Eisenhower, but Scholfield found a way to break the monotony. His first-quarter interception energized the Trojans and helped them to a 28-0 win to improve to 3-0.
The rarity of an interior lineman picking off a past wasn’t lost on Scholfield, who contributed one of many big plays for Andover’s defense.
“This is really the only cool play I’ve ever made in my life,” Scholfield said.
Andover had nothing to show for its first series, which started with a run for negative yardage, when the Trojans’ defense first appeared. On second down, Scholfield had nearly given up on the play once Blake Ramey’s pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage, but as the ball sprawled toward Scholfield, he sprawled with it.
Scholfield intercepted the pass and he was falling forward, holding onto it as he smacked the turf nearly face-first. The play set the tone for Andover in all facets — the Trojans scored on their next three drives and would later nab two more interceptions along with six sacks.
“That was cool to see him get that tip-interception,” said Andover two-way speedster Miles Starks. “It gave us a lot of confidence and spirit, and we went down and scored after that. (Scholfield) really doesn’t get that opportunity that much, so it was cool for him to do that.”
Andover’s defense was just as motivated with a three- or four-touchdown lead as when its advantage wasn’t as decisive. Starks made an impressive interception in the third quarter, matching an Eisenhower receiver step-for-step.
Starks, who also caught a pair of touchdown passes from Cole Gumeringer, was a cog in the speed Andover’s defense used to hold down the Tigers.
Players such as running back Drake Damon and versatile weapon Trevon Evans had the ability to get to the edge but rarely to turn up-field because an Andover defender met them near the sideline.
“We just had good containment, and our linebackers fill in inside,” Starks said. “They had to go to the outside, and we were there to stop them.”
That success in stopping Eisenhower started with Scholfield’s interception, the play that changed Friday’s game for Andover and the entirety of football for Scholfield.
“We have a saying on our team that if it’s true good to be true then it probably is,” Scholfield said before punctuating the unlikelihood of his interception with, “We’re linemen.”
“It was just kind of in slow-motion. The ball just kind of fell in my hands, and I didn’t really do much.… Instinct took over, and I was kind of unconscious on that one.”
A—Moss 5 run (kick failed)
A—Starks 5 pass from Gumeringer (Dusenbery pass from Gumeringer)
A—Dusenbery 9 run (Fiszel kick)
A—Starks 26 pass from Gumeringer (Fiszel kick)
Rushing—Eisenhower, Damon 17-76, Thompson 6-21, Aguilera 2-8, Evans 4-6, Strunk 1-3, Brown 1-2; Ramey 9-(-18); Andover, Renoux 20-111, Gumeringer 9-70, Moss 4-25, Rasmussen 2-23, Dusenbery 3-18, VanEpps 4-10, Starks 1-3.
Passing—Eisenhower, Ramey 7-15-45-3 INT; Andover, Gumeringer 5-8-56-1.
Receiving—Eisenhower, Strunk 3-15, Damon 1-13, Evans 1-7, Stemple 1-5, Brown 1-5; Andover, Starks 2-31, Nichols 1-10, Moss 1-9, VanEpps 1-6.