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Avon Lake Shoremen rout Amherst Comets in historic win
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Avon Lake's Jimmy Hessel, left, leaves Amherst's Brian Young behind as he runs 72 yards for a touchdown on a punt return.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Avon Lake’s Jimmy Hessel, left, stiff arms Amherst’s Kyle Kelly on a punt return in the first quarter at Avon Lake High School.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Avon Lake's David Winkel, right, heads off on a 62-yard touchdown run as Amherst's Brett Willbond just gets his fingertips on the ball as Winkel passes him.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Avon Lake's Head Coach Dave Dlugosz claps after his team scores a touchdown against Amherst Friday night. Dlugosz won his 200th game on Friday night.
The Shoremen sealed their sixth straight conference championship and 15th in the last 16 years; they qualified for the Division I playoffs for the first time and head coach Dave Dlugosz picked up his 200th win in 21 years as head coach at Avon Lake.
“It’s a privilege to represent the community of Avon Lake when I walk on the field,” Dlugosz said. “It’s not so much the wins or losses; it’s whether I represent the community correctly.
“I have been blessed for 22 years to have kids that have bought into the program that have done the right thing and worked hard. I have a tremendous coaching staff that has bore the brunt of a lot of things that happen as a head coach.”
Amherst opened the game with the ball and it was a sign of things to come when the first snap to Eric Lamb from the Comet 20 went over his head and was recovered by Avon Lake at the 10.
The Shoremen didn’t score on that possession, but they did score three times in each of the first two quarters to take a 42-7 lead at the half.
After an Avon Lake punt hit a Comet defender, the Shoremen scored from seven yards out on two plays with Wyatt Ohm pushing his way in from two yards out with 6:37 left in the quarter.
The Shoremen only ran two more offensive plays for the rest of the quarter as David Winkel ran for a 62-yard score on an option-read play to the right side as he pulled out of two tackle attempts.
Just under one-and-a-half minutes later, the Shoremen forced a three-and-out by the Comets. Senior Jimmy Hessel took the punt down the right side and went untouched 72 yards for a 21-0 lead with 2:53 left in the quarter.
Jordan Irvin (23 carries for 78 yards) momentarily stopped the Shoremen scoring avalanche, capping off an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a 7-yard TD reception from Eric Lamb.
Avon Lake answered the Irvin score just two plays later getting a 57-yard pass from Winkel to Hessel who then followed that up with a 96-yard interception return for a score with the Comets inside the Avon Lake 20 for a 35-7 lead with 5:39 left in the first half.
“This was a huge game for us especially since it was for coach Dlogosz’ 200th win, clinched the SWC and put us in the playoffs,”
Hessel said. “I’ve never had a pick-six before and I think I may have tied the score record for interceptions (nine), so I really enjoyed that one.”
Avon Lake finished up the half with an old-fashioned 13-play drive covering 58 yards, including a 7-yard throw-back pass to quarterback David Winkel.
Winkel found Hessel for his fourth straight score for Avon Lake on a 4-yard fade the back pylon for a stunning 42-7 lead at the half.
Avon Lake opened the second half with an interception as Brian Young came up with the take-away, but the Comets couldn’t take advantage of the turnover and punted seven plays later.
Ohm added his second score of the night on the ensuing drive capping a 12-play, 74-yard drive that took more than five minutes off the clock as Ohm plunged in for a 3-yard score to cap off a historic night.
“It’s been a big thing to do to try and help carry the team with our big leader gone,” Ohm said about carrying the ball more with Collin Lucas still sidelined for Avon Lake. “I tried to step up as much as I could and my offensive line has done a great job.”
The Shoremen will now sit back and wait to find out where they will play next Saturday night in the Division 1, Region 2 playoffs.
Amherst (2-8, 1-6) 0 7 0 0 — 7
Avon Lake (8-2, 6-1) 21 21 7 0 — 49
AL — Wyatt Ohm 2 run (Alex Voloshen kick)
AL — David Winkel 62 run (Voloshen kick)
AL — Jimmy Hessel 72 punt return (Voloshen kick)
AM — Jordan Irvin 7 pass from Eric Lamb (Jared Sciarrotta kick)
AL — Hessel 57 pass from Winkel (Voloshen kick)
AL — Hessel 96 interception return (Voloshen kick)
AL — Hessel 4 pass from Winkel (Voloshen kick)
AL — Ohm 3 run (Voloshen kick)
First Downs — Amherst 9, Avon Lake 12
Yards Rushing — AM 107 (Jordan Irvin 78), AL 258 (Wyatt Ohm 114)
Yards Passing — AM 117 (Tom Gula 71), AL 74 (Hessel 61)
Passes Att.-Comp.-Int. — AM 14-4-2; AL 10-4-1
Fumbles/Lost — AM 5-2, AL 3-0
Penalties/Yards — AM 5-22, AL 1-10.
Last Updated: 10/27/2012 12:13:17 PM EST