Fleming, Redmen win thriller over North Andover – Lowell Sun


NORTH ANDOVER — In an instant classic that needed three overtimes, Tewksbury prevailed over North Andover, 37-29, in a Merrimack Valley Conference Division 2 game played at a packed Joe Walsh Stadium.

Tied at 21 after regulation, neither team was successful on their first overtime series, which included an interception by Tewksbury’s Michael Sullivan.

In the second session, North Andover scored as Jack O’Connell connected with Nick Ankiewicz on a great grab keeping his feet in on the right sideline followed by a successful two-point conversion.

Tewksbury answered right back as Danny Fleming — who had a monster game with five total touchdowns — rushed the ball in, before connecting on a nice misdirection pass to Blake Ryder for the conversion.

Tewksbury went first in the third series with Fleming scoring on a 10-yard run on first down and connected with Sullivan on the conversion for what proved to be the game-winning point.

The Scarlet Knights couldn’t get anything going, as a sack by Tewksbury captain Nick Wilson on first down was followed by three incomplete passes.

“There’s no better place to mature as a young guy than being in an overtime situation like that. There’s no hiding. You have to step up. Even if it looks like it’s lost, you have to keep grinding. I thought our kids grew up a lot in a situation like this. I’m proud of them,” said Tewksbury head coach Brian Aylward, whose team improved to 3-1.

While the OT frames were wild and entertaining,  the first half was as well. It included three first-quarter scores, two big punt returns, as well as four turnovers.

The Scarlet Knights fumbled on the first play from scrimmage, but Tewksbury responded with a three-and-out. On fourth down, the Redmen punted and NA’s Brendan Regan returned it 66 yards, tackled just four yards from the end zone. Jack Ferullo then darted to his left to score with Camden Bethel’s kick making it 7-0.

ewksbury quickly responded with a five-play, 54-yard drive capped off with a 24-yard QB run by Fleming, and Kodie LeGrand’s kick tied the game at 7.

Three plays later, NA struck again as O’Connell found a wide-open Ferullo over the middle and he turned on the jets and went 49 yards untouched for the score. The PAT kick was good and the Knights had the lead with 5:48 left in the first quarter.

Tewksbury punted on its first possession of the second quarter with the ball hitting a NA player and Fleming pouncing on the loose ball on the Knights’ four. Three plays later, Fleming scored his second TD of the half on a 1-yard keeper, and the kick was good.

Both teams then threw interceptions in the final four minutes of the half, including Tewksbury’s Aiden Trulli coming up with his pick in the end zone to end a NA threat with 1:22 left in the half.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, but three plays into the fourth, Fleming connected with Sullivan on a 9-yard TD pass and the kick made it 21-14.

But four plays later, NA tied it back up as O’Connell scored on a 3-yard run and Bethel’s kick tied it up at 21 with 8:37 remaining, and the score remained that way through the rest of regulation.

Fleming finished the night with 89 rushing yards on 23 carries, scored four TDs, tossed another one and a pair of two-point conversion passes, had a big punt return of 47 yards and recovered a fumble on the defensive side.

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