ANDOVER-- The Greater Lawrence football team switched its offensive scheme from a run-heavy attack to the spread offense this season.
The new offensive system, however, played right into the hands of Manchester Essex as Mike Athanas’ squad also runs the spread offense and it knows the system inside and out.
On Saturday at the Louis E. Gleason Coluseum, the Hornets defense knew exactly how to attack the spread turning in a dominant performance en route to a 22-12 win, their first win of the season.
“We played great defense,” Athanas said. “They’re a spread team and we really know the spread and really worked hard against it this week in practice. I was nervous of their athletes in space but we played man-to-man, got good pressure on the quarterback and did a great job. It was a dominant day by the defense.”
Dominant is the perfect word to describe Manchester Essex’s performance on the defensive side of the ball Saturday. While the offense left a few plays on the field and kept the Reggies in the contest, the defense made sure they would not get anything going on offense allowing just 70 yards on the day.
Middle linebacker Doug Rodier led the way making tackles all over the field, but he was not alone. Nate Riehl had a big interception thwarting a Greater Lawrence drive while Leo Gallo, Ted Economo and Will Davis all had quarterback sacks in the win.
“Dougie is a force in the middle, if he doesn’t get blocked he will make the play every time and he made a lot of tackles for losses today,” Athanas said. “The line and the secondary also came up big.”
The Hornets (1-1) got things going right away mounting an impressive opening drive going 75 yards in seven plays, culminating with a Riehl five yard touchdown run to make it 6-0.