By Sean Duffy
Avon, OH– This week’s game of the week features two teams that are both in the hunt for the Division II Region 6 playoffs. The difference is that each team is hunting very different things. Amherst is currently occupying the 8th spot in the standings and is “on the bubble” a win would solidify their playoff destiny, a loss puts that destiny in jeopardy. Avon is currently atop the Division II Region 6 standings, they are looking to secure the top seed in the region and an all important first round home game. This has all the makings of a great game against two very good Southwestern Conference rivals, the Amherst Steele Comets take on the Avon Eagles.
The Eagles got off to a fast start, taking their opening drive 75 yards for a score, thanks to a 29 touchdown run from QB Ryan Maloy, Avon led 7-0 early in 1st quarter. Avon’s Defense forced an Amherst fumble on their opening offensive possession, two plays later Maloy connected with WR Chris Mullins on 23 yd touchdown strike, Avon now led 14-0 midway through the 1st quarter. Avon would again find the end zone late in the 1st quarter this time courtesy of a 6 yd touchdown run from RB Tony Eberhardt, at the end of the 1st quarter Avon was out to a commanding 21-0 lead.
The Avon Defense was impressive in the second quarter, shutting down the Comets Star RB Khennedy Scagliozzo, the Comets did not cross into Eagle territory for the entire 2nd quarter. Amherst’s Defense was able to hold Avon to only 1 TD in the 2nd quarter, a 1 yd TD run from Eberhardt, his second of the night. Avon was in complete control with a 28 -0 lead at half time.
Amherst got the ball to start the 2nd half, but the eagle defense picked up right where it left off in the 1st half, shutting down the Comets on a 4th down. Avon took over and marched 43 yards down the field for a score, Maloy would find Mullins for a TD for a second time this time on 35 yd TD pass. A running clock and a relentless swarming defense found the Eagles leading 35-0 as the 3rd quarter came to a close.
Avon’s defensive unit was able to dominate most of the 4th quarter, not allowing any scoring chances for the Amherst offense. Amherst’s defense scored the only Comet points of the contest thanks to a 55 yd fumble recovery for a TD from LB Greg Rhodes. Unfortunately the big defensive play could not spark a comeback for Amherst and the Avon Eagles would secure the 35-7 victory.
Amherst falls to 7-2 and 4-4 in the Southwestern Conference, the loss does put their playoff hopes serious jeopardy. It is unlikely that they remain in the top 8 in Division II Region 6 and will need a win in week 10 against Westlake and losses from other teams in contention to have a shot at the postseason.
Avon improves to 9-0 and 8-0 in the Southwestern Conference, the win guarantees at least a share of the Southwestern Conference championship, a win in week 10 against Berea-Midpark would clinch the outright title. The win also guaranteed Avon home playoff game in the Division II Region 6 Playoffs’ opening round. The Eagles were led by QB Ryan Maloy with 2 passing TDs and 1 rushing TD, Chris Mullins’ 2 TD catches, and Tony Eberhardt’s 2 rushing TDs. The Player(s) of the Game is the Avon Eagles Defensive unit, not allowing an offensive touchdown all night.