Avon Tyler Arnott (79) and Jimmy Murphy (36) slow down Canton’s Kyle Mullins.
AVON, Oct. 5 – It was halftime of Avon High’s game with winless Canton. And it looked like a regular day of practice. At one end of the field, Avon coach Brett Quinion and his staff worked with his team on adjustments and positioning.
Avon led by eight points at halftime thanks to a one-handed interception from Stephen Griffin and a nine-yard touchdown run from Colin Moore in the final two minutes to a young Canton squad that had allowed 104 points in their first three games.
Led by the explosive Moore, who had a 71-yard touchdown run on Avon’s first play of the third quarter, the Falcons scored 25 second half points to pull away with a 31-0 Pequot Conference victory under warm, sunny skies.
Moore finished with three touchdowns, 24 points scored and a game-high 175 yards on 24 carries as Avon improved to 3-1.
“I give Canton all the credit in the world,” Quinion said. “They did a great job taking away our power and isolation game. We had to find out exactly what they were doing and where they were coming from. I had to change our blocking schemes.”
Avon punted four times on its first five possessions. The other possession stalled on the Warrior 23-yard line.
Canton (0-4) played with abandon. Three times in the first half, the Warriors ran the ball on fourth down and one. They made it twice. Canton defenders nailed Moore for losses twice.
Avon’s Colin Moore manuevers between Canton defenders
“We’re a better team than our record shows,” Canton coach Roger Pearl said. “We were very aggressive on defense and very physical. We just need to stop making crucial mistakes at crucial times.”
But that is what happens when you play sophomores and freshmen. With only four seniors on the roster, it’s a learning experience for the Warriors.
The game was scoreless late in the second half when Canton dropped Moore for a loss, Erick Latvis stopped Moore for no gain and the Warriors stopped Sean Smith for a four-yard loss. Frustrated, Smith spiked the ball for a 15-yard unsportmanlike penalty.
Canton took over on its own 19 but sophomore Eric Scott was intercepted by Griffin, who snared the ball out of the air and slipped down the sideline to the nine-yard line with 2:28 remaining in the second quarter. Two plays later, Moore burst through the middle and bulldozed his way into the end zone with 1:44 remaining. He added a two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
The Warriors opened the second half and went on a 14-play march deep into Avon territory. A 15-yard reception to Jake Wood and a 30-yard reception to Zach Powell gave Canton key first downs on the drive.
Canton had a first down on the Avon 14-yard line. But after a one-yard gain by hard-nosed Kyle Mullins (22 carries, 70 yards), Falcon linebacker Jimmy Murphy nailed Cameron Daley with a five-yard loss and a Canton receiver dropped a touchdown pass in the end zone. On fourth down, Murphy nailed Scott with an 11-yard sack.
Murphy had 2 ½ sacks for 22 yards in the game along with numerous tackles. On one sack, Murphy chased down Scott from behind for a seven-yard loss.
On the next play, Moore broke free on the right side for a 71-yard touchdown run. With another two-point conversion run, it was 16-0 with 3:52 left in the third period. Moore’s two-yard run with 9:34 remaining in the game and a third 2-point conversion extended the lead to 24-0.
“There are some good players over there,” Quinion said. “They are a lot closer to becoming a good team than they may realize.”
Avon’s Noah Gilmore ran for 95 yards on two carries, including a 50-yard touchdown run late in the game. Moore completed 2-of-4 passes for 19 yards, both to Will DiStefano.
NOTES: Moore tied Avon’s single-game record for most 2-point conversion runs at 3. Moore had three 2-point runs in the season opening win over Stafford. The only other player in school history to accomplish that feat was Jeff Burrows against Housatonic in 1962. Moore now has a school record nine 2-point conversion runs this season. … Canton is 0-8 vs. the Falcons and was shutout for the fifth time in the series that began in 1960. … The game was played on a Thursday afternoon due to the Yom Kippur holiday this weekend. …. After four games, Moore has rushed for 981 yards and 10 TDs.
Avon 31, Canton 0
Canton (0-4) 0 0 0 0 – 0
Avon (3-1) 0 8 8 16 – 31
A: Colin Moore 9 run (Moore run), 1:44
A: Moore 71 run (Moore run), 3:52
A: Moore 2 run (Moore run), 9:34
A: Noah Gilmore 50 run (Will DiStefano kick), 3:18
RUSHING: Avon – Noah Gilmore 2-95, Patrick Driscoll-Kelly 1-minus 1, Colin Moore 24-175, Jimmy Murphy 1-7, Sean Smith 3-minus 1, Chris Suttmeier 1-11; Canton – Eric Scott 7-minus 17, Robby Grillo 1-2, Kyle Mullins 22-70, Jesse Lachance 2-minus 3, Cameron Daley 4-13, Keith Wilson 1-minus 13, Dan Delos 3-1
PASSING: Avon – Colin Moore 2-4-0, 19; Canton – Eric Scott 6-9-1, 59; Daley 0-1-0
RECEIVING: Avon – Will DiStefano 2-19; Canton – Jake Wood 3-26, Zach Powell 1-30, Conner Gavin 1-4, Robby Grillo 1-minus 1
RETURNS: Kickoffs – Jimmy Murphy (A) 1-18, Colin Moore (A) 1-12, Cameron Daley (C) 4-38; Punts – Patrick Driscoll-Kelly (A) 3-19
SACKS: Jimmy Murphy (A) 2.5-22, Kwinton Proffitt 1-6; INTERCEPTIONS: Stephen Griffin (A) 1-8; PUNTING: DiStefano (A) 3-104