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Westlake Demons end drought against Avon Lake Shoremen
“This may have been our biggest win ever,” Demons head coach Mark Campo said. “We just beat a Division I team that was first in their region. I would say that’s a pretty darn big win.”
With the wind howling and the rain driving, Westlake stayed on the ground for most of the night putting the ball in the hands Logan Paul and Kent Axcell for a combined 233 yards rushing.
Paul had 119 yards on 27 carries while Axcell accounted for all four scores with 114 yards and three scores on the ground and 76 yards through the soggy air and a 27-yard TD pass to senior receiver Alex Massaad.
“This is crazy beating Avon Lake for the first time in 20-some years. It feels amazing,” Axcell said. “I’m glad I could do what I did. Those guys are so happy right now; this was just so much fun.”
Avon Lake drew first blood after holding Westlake to a three-and-out on its first drive going 50 yards in seven plays with Anthony Thielman scoring his first varsity TD from eight yards out.
Thielman was in the game after starting fullback/linebacker Collin Lucas left with an apparent leg injury sent him to the sideline.
Lucas was on crutches after the run and did not play the rest of the way.
The Demons answered to tie the score at 7-7 when Axcell rushed 35 yards up the middle field on a third-down play with 5:03 on the first quarter.
The Shoremen returned the favor going 41 yards in eight plays with all but 12 coming on the ground. Wyatt Ohm carried the ball four times for 26 yards and quarterback David Winkel covered the last 22 for a score.
Ohm finished the game with 128 yards on 22 carries.
Winkel ended up covering about 50 yards on the run dodging a pass rush, breaking all the way to the right side of the field, came all the way back across to the left and then scampered to the middle with 1:57 left in the quarter for the score.
Both defenses settled in after three straight scores until the Demons took over at their own 35 following a 9-yard punt and ground their way to the end zone in 11 plays.
All the yards came on the ground as Shawn Turk carried 39 yards and Axcell adding 26 yards, including a 9-yard TD run with 3:13 remaining in the half. The snap on the PAT was high leaving the Demons trailing 14-13.
After a turnover-free first half, miscues doomed Avon Lake in the second half as the Demons converted a David Winkel interception and a Shoremen fumble into the two scores the Demons needed for the win.
Danny Strodtbeck picked off Winkel on the first drive of the second half as Westlake went 31 yards in three plays with Axcell hitting Massaad with 8:48 left in the third quarter. Axcell added a 2-point conversion to take a 21-14 lead.
Avon Lake responded with a 7-play, 54-yard drive as Wyatt Ohm carried five times for 39 yards, including a 3-yarder to knot the score at 21-21, but those would be the final points of the night for the Shoremen.
The Avon Lake defense stopped the next two Demon drives, but a fumble following a pass completion gave Westlake the ball at the Shoremen 35 and the Demons killed almost six minutes on the clock grinding their way to a 3-yard Axcell score with 1:25 left.
“Axcell is a gamer,” Campo said. “He makes plays. He may not make them all the time, but you have to respect him. He keeps going at it with his legs and arms and sooner or later he is gonna beat you.”
The Shoremen drove inside Demon territory with less than a minute remaining, but the Westlake defense held sending its fans into a soaked frenzy.
“They (Westlake) out-prepared us and out-played us,” Avon Lake head coach Dave Dlugosz said. “We couldn’t stop their running game and we turned the ball over. That’s a formula for a loss and that’s exactly what happened.”
Westlake 28, Avon Lake 21
Westlake (6-1, 3-1) 7 6 8 7 — 28
Avon Lake (5-2, 3-1) 14 0 7 0 — 21
AL – Anthony Thielman 8 run (Alex Voloshen kick)
W – Kent Axcell 35 run (Sean Bigley kick)
AL – David Winkel 22 run (Voloshen kick)
W – Axcell 9 run (pass failed)
W – Alex Massaad 27 pass from Axcell (Axcell run)
AL – Wyatt Ohm 3 run (Voloshen kick)
W – Axcell 3 run (Bigley kick)
First Downs — W 14, AL 17.
Yards Rushing — W 233 (Paul 119), AL 190 (Ohm 128).
Yards Passing — W 76 (Mackenzie/Strodtbeck 31), AL 79 (Pappas 42).
Passes Att.-Comp.-Int — W 17-7-0; AL 22-8-1.
Fumbles-Lost — W 0-0, AL 1-1.
Penalties-Yards — W 6-50, AL 6-51.
Last Updated: 10/6/2012 12:12:02 PM EST