By Sean Duffy
Avon Lake, OH- It is the second round of the Division II OHSAA High School Football playoff tournament. Region Six of Division II is always a highly competitive region featuring hard hitting action. This week’s spotlight playoff game is no different as #14 seed Wadsworth travels to face #3 seed Avon Lake. Wadsworth (2-4) advanced to the second round with a win over Westlake in the first round, Avon Lake earned a first round bye. Each of these teams look to keep their playoff journey on track with a win and trip to the Division II Region 6 Quarterfinals .
The First quarter was a battle of defenses as each team’s defense would force a turnover on downs. The turning point came on a Shoremen interception of Wadsworth QB Mitchell Evans deep in Grizzlies Territory. Wadsworth was able to keep the Shoremen out of the end zone, settling for a 32 yd field goal from Avon Lake kicker Owen Wiley. at the end of the first quarter Avon Lake led Wadsworth 3-0.
The Shoremen would find the endzone early in the second half as RB Gage Duesler would get loose for a 66 yd touchdown run, the successful point after gave Avon Lake a 10-0 lead with 11:34 remaining in the first half. Wadsworth would respond with a touchdown on their next offensive possession when QB Mitchell Evans connected with WR Garrett Labus for a 28 yd TD , Wadsworth cut the lead to 10-7 with 8:42 left in the first half. Avon Lake’s Owen Wiley would add another field goal, this time from 34 yds to give the Shoremen a 13-7 lead as the first half came to a close.
Avon Lake got the ball to start the third quarter and put together a drive that went 75 yds and took over seven minutes off of the clock. Avon Lake QB Micheal Corbo would cap the drive off with a 1 yd TD plunge. that would be the only points scored, at the end of the third quarter Avon Lake led 20-7.
Avon Lake would again put together a drive that ate up a lot of time early in the fourth quarter, Owen Wiley’s 36 yd field goal would increase the Shoremen lead to 23-7 midway through the fourth quarter. Wadsworth QB Mitchell Evans would be picked off twice in this quarter, the second being the most costly as Shoremen DB Nathan Cikalo would take the interception 53 yds for the TD. That interception proved to be the final nail in the Wadsworth coffin as they lose to Avon Lake by a final score of 30-7.
Avon Lake is now on to the Division II Region 6 Quarter Finals against #22 seed North Royalton. North Royalton defeated #6 Seed Olmsted Falls in 2OT in the second round.