There are heroic performances, and then there’s what Andover (Mass.) quarterback E.J. Perry IV produced during his team’s playoff faceoff with longtime Merrimack Valley Conference rivals Central Catholic. There’s just one twist: No matter how good Perry was, he still couldn’t lead his team to a victory.
As reported by the Boston Herald and Eagle-Tribune, Perry racked up a state-record 634 yards and passed for four touchdowns. He ran for an additional two touchdowns, accounting for all of Andover’s points in the tense face off. Unfortunately, the Golden Warriors’ defense had even more trouble slowing Central Catholic’s balanced attack, with the Raiders responding to each Andover salvo with a strong counter-punch, and eventually landing the final body blow with four consecutive sacks to turn the Warriors over on downs and seal a 49-41 victory.
That Andover was even in position to challenge for the victory is a remarkable accomplishment in itself. The Warriors handed Central Catholic a 26-0 lead before they truly got going. And boy, did Perry then get going. He passed for two touchdowns in the final four minutes of the second quarter to keep the game close, 33-21 at the break.
In the end, the Warriors appeared to simply run out of time, energy and mojo. Given Perry’s heroics, that’s nothing to be ashamed of, particularly given the fits that he caused the opposing coaching staff.
“Both teams – we’re gutsy, they were gutsy,” Central Catholic coach Chuck Adamopolos told the Herald. “We were up then they got back in the game. They took the lead, our kids showed some guts. Our special teams came up with a huge play on that kickoff. It was great game. My hats off to them, their quarterback (E.J. Perry) played a great game. It was a great game It sounded like people liked it, it sure drove me crazy.”