By Sean Duffy
Two Weeks left in the 2017 High School football season, two weeks left to secure your seeding and home field advantage, and two weeks left to make sure you even get into the playoffs. Our game of the week is between two Southwestern Conference rivals at both ends of the playoff spectrum in Division II Region 6. The Avon Eagles sit atop the division with an 8-0 record, all signs point to Avon maintaining that position in the top four as the regular season comes to an end. Amherst on the other hand is currently in the 8th in the region standings and is in a dogfight to keep that last playoff spot. This is clearly an important game that will go a long way in clarifying the Division II Region 6 playoff picture. Here are the three keys to watch for in this week’s game of the week.
- Maintain the Status Quo– The Avon Eagles are undefeated and have not been challenged much in their undefeated run. It will be important for the Eagles to maintain the same level of performance in all facets of the game in order to get the same result that they have gotten used to all season. Avon did run into some trouble at home in week 8 against North Ridgeville, they need to avoid a similar letdown against a much tougher opponent in Amherst. Key players to watch in this game for Avon are QB Ryan Malloy, WR Chris Mullins, and RB Tony Eberhart.
- Disrupt the Status Quo – Amherst must not allow Avon to get into a rhythm offensively. Avon ran into a bit of trouble against North Ridgeville’s defense in week 8. No doubt the Comet coaching staff will look to duplicate that effort and disrupt the rhythm that Avon will look to establish. Offensively Amherst will need to get key performances from their star players such as QB Matt Fairchild, WR Devin Holmes. The biggest offensive weapon RB Khennedy Scagliozzo will need to have another standout performance both running and catching the ball.
- Block out the Noise– There is no sugarcoating it, this is a big game, an important game, even more so for the Comets. However, each team must not get lost in how big and important this game is, each team must not focus on the implications of the game but rather on the game itself. It one of the oldest clichés in sports, you have to take it one game, one half, one quarter, and one play at a time. Amherst and Avon are both keenly aware of the importance of this game, and the team that can focus on the task at hand and block out the noise, will likely leave the field Friday night with a victory.
It is sure to be an electric atmosphere in Avon Friday night, and Sports on Tap will be there to bring you all he hard hitting Southwestern Conference action. Rob will be on the sidelines getting all the action on video , and I will be writing a recap of the action and live tweeting the game .
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See you in Avon!