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Stirring the drink for the Falcons – The Collinsville Press
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Avon

Stirring the drink for the Falcons

Moore helps lead Avon over Sport Medicine Science

Avon’s Colin Moore runs through a tackle in the win over SMSA/University.

AVON, Oct. 1 – Like most quarterbacks, Avon High junior Colin Moore literally has a hand on every single offensive play his team runs. The difference is that he has been the playmaker that has carried the Falcons to two victories and nearly won them a third game.

No one player can do it alone. Blockers to set up running lanes, give the quarterback time to throw and the receivers have to make their catches and run well after the ball. The defense has to stand up to the opposition.

Still, Moore has been spectacular. He ran for a school-record 291 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries in a five-point loss to Coventry/Windham Tech, 26-21, a game that saw Avon stopped near the goal line as time expired. With a two-point conversion run, he scored 20 of Avon’s 21 points.

In a 30-7 victory over Stafford/East Windsor on opening night, he ran for 244 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw a touchdown pass and had three two-point conversion runs.

SMSA’s Patrick Richard (4) can’t stop Avon’s Colin Moore from getting into the end zone.

And on Saturday, he was outstanding on both sides of the ball in a 36-6 win over Sport Medicine Science Academy/University High. He ran for 178 yards and a pair of touchdowns, he threw two touchdown passes and made two interceptions, running one back 35 yards for a score.


Avon (2-1, 2-1 Pequot Uncas) has scored 87 points. Through a touchdown run or throwing a touchdown pass, Moore has been involved in 79 of 87 points.

“You do a good job on him (defensively) and he comes back,” SMSA/University coach Graham Martin said. “He is deliberate. He makes a decision and goes with it. I was impressed with that.”

In three games, Moore has rushed for 713 yards on 86 carries with seven TDs. He has completed 11 of 23 passes for 213 yards and three TDs. And he has already tied the single season school record for two-point conversion runs at six.

Did Moore understand his role before the season began? “It was to throw the ball, run the ball a little, get behind that huge offensive line and help win some games for us,” he said.

A year ago as a sophomore behind two-time All-State running back Ross McDonald, Moore ran for 678 yards and 10 TDs. This year, Moore should become the seventh back in Avon history to break 1,000 yards rushing in a season.

“He is one of the quickest and strongest running backs I’ve ever had,” said Avon coach Brett Quinion, now in his ninth season behind the bench. “We’ve had other guys who were faster and other guys who were bigger. But he is the quickest and strongest.”

Moore stands at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds. He plays lacrosse in the spring. But it was his work in the weight room this summer that prepared him for this campaign.

“He is one of the most complete football players I have ever been around,” Quinion said. “He throws the ball very well. He is extremely gifted. He is tough to a fault. He likes running through tackles. He would just as rather be Earl Campbell than run around tacklers.”

Campbell was a 5-foot-11 legend at the University of Texas in the 1970s and the Houston Oilers in the 1980s for his hard-nosed style of football.

Is Moore worried about getting hit too many times with all of the times he touches the ball? “I lifted a lot (this summer),” he said. “I’m trying to stay injury free and I have so far I have, knock on wood.”

Quinion is concerned that so much of the Falcon offense is running through Moore. Already, Avon is seeing teams with nine players near the line of scrimmage daring the Falcons to throw the ball.

“We need to develop our passing game,” Quinion said. “We don’t throw well and other teams know that. There aren’t too many plays I can draw up to block nine (players).”

A year ago, Avon had the benefit of throwing the ball to an All-State receiver Tyler D’Onofrio, who set school records with 51 receptions for 974 yards to open up some space for McDonald and Moore to run.

However, like all high school teams, the young men are learning and progressing. Quinion was pleased with touchdown passes to Chris Suttmeier (11 yards) and Will DiStefano (31 yards) against SMSA/University. Some teams in the Pequot Conference are not as strong, allowing Avon and their players a chance to learn and grow as players.

But if Avon wants to win its fifth straight Pequot Uncas Division championship, they will need to continue to diversify its offense. Games at Gilbert on Oct. 15 and at Ellington on Nov. 12 will likely determine Avon’s title hopes.

Against SMSA/University, Moore carried the ball six times for 53 yards on the opening drive of the game. He capped off the drive with an 11-yard pass to Suttmeier, his first high school TD pass. Moore’s conversion run made it 8-0.

On its next drive, Avon fired a pass down the sideline to DiStefano for a 16-0 advantage. On its third drive, Avon marched 94 yards in 10 plays with Moore carrying the ball five times for 59 yards, finishing the effort with an eight-yard run into the end zone for a 22-0 lead.

Avon’s defense played well against the Tigerhawks. SMSA/University drove to the Avon six but on fourth down, Mitch Gauthier battled away a pass in the end zone to end the threat. Avon intercepted three passes and sacked Tigerhawk QB Will Alicea three times for 29 yards. Austin Curry had two sacks for 20 yards.

Moore capped off the scoring with a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The Falcons have three home games remaining against Granby (Oct. 21, 7 p.m.), Enfield (Nov. 5, 1 p.m.) and Windsor Locks (Nov. 19, 1 p.m.)

Avon 36, SMSA/Univ. 6
At Avon
SMSA/Univ. (0-2)   0  6  0  0 – 6
Avon (2-1)            14  8  7  6  — 36
First quarter
A: Chris Suttmeier 11 pass from Colin Moore (Moore run), 7:45
A: Will DiStefano 31 pass from Moore (run fails), 3:35
Second quarter
A: Moore 8 run (Sean Smith run), 6:44
S: Wilfred Alicea 1 run (run fails), 1:00
Third quarter
A: Moore 1 run (Moore run), 3:20
Fourth quarter
A: Moore 35 interception return (kick fails), 10:07
Individual statistics
RUSHING: Avon – Colin Moore 26-178, Sean Smith 7-18, Jimmy Murphy 2-9, Mitch Cappello 3-3, Patrick Driscoll-Kelly 4-6; SMSA/Univ. – Kayron Macon 11-26, Trenton Sheldon 12-53, Saviel Lopez 1-6, Kiante Macon 1-11, Ezequiel Ortiz 2-4, Will Alicea 6-minus 24
PASSING: Avon – Colin Moore 3-5-0, 61, Noah Hahn 1-2-1, 23; SMSA/Univ. – Will Alicea 7-22-3, 139
RECEIVING: Avon – Chris Suttmeier 2-34, Will DiStefano 2-50; SMSA/Univ. – Kiante Macon 2-67, Rashod Cauley 4-57, Shawn Wright 1-15
RETURNS: Avon – Moore (kickoff) 1-15, Smith 1-0 (KO); SMSA/Univ. – Cauley 2-37 (KO), Kayron Macon 1-8 (KO), Caleb Martin 1-14 (KO), Kiante Macon 1-3 (KO)

SACKS: Avon – Austin Curry 2-20, Lenny Dupee 1-9; INTERCEPTIONS: Allen Andre (S) 1-11, Colin Moore (A) 2-35, Jimmy Murphy (A) 1-0; FUMBLE REC: Matthew Beauregard (S); PUNTING: DiStefano (A) 1-31

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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