Avon Eagles quick strikes sink Vermilion Sailors

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Sailors quarterback Forrest Boyd runs on a quarterback keeper Friday night.

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Eagles wide receiver Braeden Friss carries the ball down the sideline on a reception during the first quarter Friday night.

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Sailors quarterback Forrest Boyd makes a run on a quarterback keeper during the first quarter Friday night.

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Sailors running back Brad Cole makes a leaping catch near midfield during the first quarter Friday night.

AVON — It wasn’t how long Avon had the ball, but what they did with it.

The host Eagles had four first half scoring drives which took less than five minutes of possession time en route to a convincing 49-20 West Shore Conference win over Vermilion Friday.

“We wanted to work on throwing the football a little bit,” Avon coach Mike Elder said. “We beat Midview last week and ran the ball extremely well. I think we can be a really good football team once we mix the pass and run effectively. We have had great games throwing the ball this year and some games where we weren’t quite where we wanted to be.

“I thought David did a great job with his receivers. A lot of different guys caught passes. This is a great win for us.”

Vermilion (2-6, 1-4) had a nice drive to start off the game, and took five minutes off the clock. But they came away with no points after missing a 41-yard field goal attempt.

Avon’s (7-1, 5-0) first drive of the game proved to be its longest of the first half. Using up almost two minutes, the Eagles moved down the field with precision. The eight-play, 80-yard was capped off with quarterback David Zeh throwing the first of his three first half touchdown passes to Braeden Friss from five yards out with 4:25 left in the first quarter.

Fourteen seconds later, the Eagles were back on the board with Domonic Bodnar picking off Vermilion quarterback Forrest Boyd and scoring from 14 yards out.

Mixing in the running game with Zeh’s passing, the up-tempo offense scored again. Ross Douglas — who had 84 yards on just four carries all in the first half — made it 21-0 after a 38-yard scamper.

The defense came through with another big play with Antonio Orr picking off a pass in the end zone and returning it 50 yards.

Four plays later, Zeh (10 of 15, 149 yards) and Smith (2 catches for 48 yards) made up for a long touchdown pass which was nullified by penalty earlier by hooking up from 39 yards out midway through the second quarter.

Maintaining the tempo they set, the Eagles’ final drive of the half took only 45 seconds. Zeh hit three passes with the final one covering 16 yards out into the hands of tight end Chris Maxwell for a 35-0 lead at the half.

“We knew we had to come out fast, make good passes and good runs,” Zeh said. “Everything had to be quick and efficient. We were getting plays off in 15 seconds which was a goal of us. It was an all-around big win for us. We knew we couldn’t come out and play flat. We wanted to come out strong.”

Perhaps the most underrated part of Avon’s team — the defense — held Vermilion to 16 yards passing in the first half and a pair of interceptions.

Mark Kvach scored from 13 yards out on the Eagles’ opening possession of the second half to give them a 42-0 lead.

Though Avon had taken out their starters, Vermilion kept battling. Boyd threw a pair of touchdown passes in the third quarter and had 67 yards rushing. Aaron Rice added a 66-yard touchdown run.

“Our football team will never give up,” Vermilion coach Rob Duray said. “Building a program — which we are doing this year — our kids will fight till the very end and that’s what I’m very proud of them for.”

Avon travels to Rocky River next Friday, while Vermilion travels to Lakewood.

Avon 49, Vermilion 20

West Shore Conference

Vermilion (2-6, 1-4) 0 0 13 7 — 20

Avon (7-1, 5-0) 21 14 7 7 — 49

Scoring

A — Braeden Friss 5 pass from David Zeh (Eric Sumislawski kick)

A —Domonic Bodnar 14 INT return (Sumislawki)

A — Ross Douglas 38 run (Sumislawski kick)

A — Ralph Smith III 39 pass from Zeh (Sumislawski kick)

A — Chris Maxwell 16 pass from Zeh (Sumislawski kick)

A — Mark Kvach 13 run (Sumislawski kick)

V — Garrett Shaw 30 pass from Forrest Boyd (kick failed)

V — Seth Konrad 7 pass from Boyd (Joey Rini kick)

V — Aaron Rice 66 run (Rini kick)

A — Michael Healey 2 pass from Tommy Glenn (Robby Holowecky kick)

Statistics

First Downs — Vermilion 14, Avon 19.

Yards Rushing — V 201 (Rice 96), A 198 (Douglas 198).

Yards Passing — V 67, A 225.

Passes Att.-Comp.-Int — V 17-6-2, A 24-17-1.

Fumbles-Lost — V 3-15, A 6-72.

Penalties-Yards — V 0-0, A 2-1.

@MJournalSports

Last Updated: 10/13/2012 12:43:37 PM EST

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