ENFIELD, Nov. 5 – Pressed for just the second time this season, the Avon High football team got physical in a challenging game with Enfield High on Friday night.
Enfield tied the game 14-14 midway through the third quarter after a long drive. But the Falcons scoring 22 unanswered points including a pair of back-breaking touchdowns on long runs of 68 yards and 84 yards by Ross McDonald and Colin Moore, respectively, to beat Enfield, 36-20.
The victory leaves Avon (7-1, 7-0 Uncas) in first place in the Pequot Conference’s Uncas Division while Enfield (5-2, 5-1) slips into third place behind Coventry/Windham Tech (6-1, 6-0), who the Falcons host next Saturday. It was the first of three games against teams with winning records to close out the regular season for Avon.
McDonald and Moore received some excellent blocks and both made some nice moves to evade tacklers at the line of scrimmage on their touchdown runs.
“We told our guys this game would be won in the trenches,” Enfield coach Jay Gaucher said. “They got into some gaps. Our line got pushed around a bit and their running backs made a good cut or two.”
The two touchdown runs about 90 seconds apart changed the game.
Avon led 17-14 when Enfield took over and marched 39 yards to the Falcon 32-yard line. But on fourth down and two, Enfield’s Tyler Spence fumbled the snap and was stopped for no gain enabling Avon to take over on downs.
On the next play, McDonald was able to get some blocking, cut back inside and escaped into open space for a 68-yard touchdown run and a 24-14 Falcon lead with 10:14 left in regulation.
Two plays later, Avon’s Ryan Jordan intercepted a pass from Eric Gernux, who was under heavy pressure. Two plays later, Moore got the ball, cut inside and took off to the outside for a 84-yard touchdown run and a 30-14 lead with 8:47 left.
“We had to go toe-to-toe with them and draw them in,” Quinion said. “When you get all of those bodies in tight, you can start running some of those power plays and obviously, Colin (Moore) and Ross (McDonald) were able to break some tackles.”
Avon tried to spread out its offense earlier in the game and had some success but the Raiders made moving the ball challenging. “They’re more athletic than we are on the line so they took away a lot of the things we like to do offensively in the spread offense,” he said.
Moore finished with a game-high 162 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries. McDonald had 152 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Colin Pavano completed 4-of-6 passes for 100 yards. Receiver Tyler D’Onofrio caught three passes for 85 yards and one touchdown, a 69-yard pass that he outleaped the defender for and sped away for the score.
The Falcon defense made plays when they had to. Trailing 14-6, Enfield drove to the Falcon 7 yard line in the waning minutes of the second quarter. But on third and goal, Enfield was penalized for holding to negate a 7-yard touchdown run by Buanno (22-111). And fourth and goal from the 20, Buanno couldn’t get around the corner and Avon took over on downs.
“Defensively, we played terrific,” Quinion said. “We made them run, which we wanted to do To hold a team like that down to 20 points was terrific.”
The Falcons intercepted two passes and knocked down four others.
Fumbles were a problem for Avon. Seven times, they dropped the ball on the carpet and they gave it away three times. “The kids said that the ball was picking up moisture,” Quinion said. “We’re not used to playing on this (artificial) turf.”
More on Avon football at Avon Football Online
Avon 36, Enfield 20
Avon (7-1) 0 14 3 19 — 36
Enfield (5-2) 0 6 8 6 – 20
A: Colin Moore 10 yard run (Kevin Deming kick), 11:24
E: Andrew Buanno 35 run (kick blocked), 11:04
A: Tyler D’Onofrio 69 pass from Colin Pavano (Deming kick), 10:12
E: Buanno 2 run (Buanno run), 7:06
A: Deming 28 FG, 3:54
A: Ross McDonald 68 run (Deming kick), 10:14
A: Moore 84 run (kick blocked), 8:47
A: Moore 24 run (kick failed), 3:57
E: Buanno 74 pass from Tony Romano (kick failed), 3:37
RUSHING: Avon – Colin Moore 9-162, Ross McDonald 14-152, Sean Smith 7-31, Colin Pavano 8-9, Tyler D’Onofrio 1-2; Enfield – Tony Romano 1-minus 8, Eric Gernux 8-19, Nick Bevilacqua 2-12, Andrew Buanno 22-111, Tyler Watts 1-0, Kevin Merker 2-11
PASSING: Avon – Colin Pavano 4-6-0, 100; Enfield – Gernux 6-12-2, 84; Romano 1-2-0, 74
RECEIVING: Avon – Tyler D’Onofrio 3-85, Colin Moore 1-15; Enfield –Adrian Kluk 1-17, Tyler Watts 1-4, Kevin Merker 1-25, Jack Reed 1-16, Andrew Buanno 2-94, Hugh Lindo 1-4
SACKS: Tyler Arnott (A) 1-13; FUMBLE RECOVERY: Antonio Young (E), Kyle Federowsky (E), Block PAT: McDonald (A)
RETURNS: Kickoffs — Nick Graham (E) 4-52, Avery Boissy (E) 1-40, A. Buanno (E) 2-40; Mitch Cappello (A) 1-0, McDonald (A) 1-19, Kyle Brady (A) 1-18, Pavano (A) 1-0; Punts – Moore (A) 1-2, D’Onofrio (A) 1-14