CANTON, Oct. 6 – It is hard to keep Avon running back Colin Moore contained. You may be able to do it for a play or two. But eventually, the senior back finds a way through the line and into open space.
On Saturday, there were plays that Canton had Moore trapped. But it wasn’t many. Moore was patient. He waited for his blocks, shifted his weight and exploded into holes. For the third time this season, Moore ran for over 200 yards and two touchdowns as he lifted the undefeated Falcons to a 28-6 win over Canton.
Moore ran for 236 yards and two TDs on 28 carries, including a 49-yard touchdown in the first quarter when he began running to his left and eventually worked his way back across the field, scoring along the right sideline. He also ran for 53 yards on a seven-play Falcon drive to open the third quarter.
“This was one of those days we outplayed in every way,” Canton coach Paul Philippon said. “We were outcoached in every way. We’ll look at the film, try to lick our wounds and get better. I know our kids are better than they played today. It’s frustrating.”
The victory sets up a big showdown next Saturday in Avon when the Falcons (4-0, 4-0 Pequot Uncas) face Gilbert/Northwestern (2-2, 2-2), a team that has beaten Avon for two straight seasons. Gilbert’s win in 2010 in the season final kept the Yellowjackets out of the CIAC playoffs.
“Colin had an outstanding day,” Avon coach Brett Quinion said. “He was hit hard by Canton, who played physically. He really led us on a day when we struggled through the air.”
It wasn’t as easy as the final score indicated. The Falcons’ passing attack was virtually non-existent. QB Noah Hahn completed just 3-of-10 passes for 23 yards and one interception. Moore completed one pass for a six-yard loss.
Avon gained just one first down in its three offensive possessions. But Moore scored on a 49-yard run with 1:04 remaining in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead and Stephen Griffin intercepted Canton QB Eric Scott, racing for a 56-yard interception return for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 6:48 remaining in the second quarter.
“Stephen made a terrific interception that kept it from being a very difficult situation,” Quinion said. “I give Canton a lot of credit too. They were very physical, very sound. They tackled well and gave us a lot of trouble.”
On Avon’s opening drive of the second half, Moore ran the ball on six of seven plays for 53 yards and a 15-yard run to extend the lead to a more comfortable 21-0. The Falcons made it 28-0 early in the fourth quarter as Hahn scrambled on fourth down and five from the Canton 16 to hit Chris Suttmeier for the touchdown pass.
Canton had a nice scoring drive in the fourth quarter, marching 70 yards on 10 plays with Eric Scott completing his second TD pass of the season to Jake Wood, a 14-yard scoring strike with 8:51 remaining in the game. Jesse LaChance had a key 14-yard gain late in the drive to keep it alive.
Kyle Mullins ran hard for the Warriors, gaining a team-high 105 yards on 16 carries. He had three runs over 10 yards, including a 28-yard scamper in the first quarter.
“I like how hard they play and how willing they are to do things our way,” Philippon said.
“They are trying to do everything we ask them to do,” he said. “We’ve gotten better every since week. We run hard. We try to hit hard. If you can measure the strength of their heart and their will, we’re right there we just need to build these bodies a bit and get more hours of fundamental football under their belts.”
Canton had won two straight games by shutting out Housatonic/Wamogo and Windsor Locks/Suffield.
Avon’s defense did a good job as keeping Canton off balance. Anders Bill and Dylan Marquis played well in the secondary, batting down a few passes while defensive lineman Chappy Wingo helped keep pressure on Canton QB Eric Scott, who completed just 4-of-17 passes for 25 yards and one interception.
NOTES: Avon beat the Warriors for the ninth time in nine games, dating back to 1960. Canton has scored in just four of those games. … Griffith’s 56-yard interception return for a touchdown was the fourth longest in school history. The record is a 97-yard interception return for a TD against Staffrd in 1997.
Avon 28, Canton 6
Avon (4-0) 7 7 7 7 — 28
Canton (2-2) 0 0 0 6 – 6
A: Colin Moore 49 run (Mitch Cappello kick), 1:04
A: Stephen Griffin 56 interception return (Cappello kick), 6:48
A: Moore 15 run (Cappello kick), 5:42
A: Chris Suttmeier 16 pass from Noah Hahn (Cappello kick), 11:47
C: Jake Wood 14 pass from Eric Scott (run fails), 8:51
RUSHING: Avon – Jimmy Murphy 1-4, Noah Hahn 3-4, Colin Moore 28-236, Mitch Cappello 8-38; Canton – Kyle Mullins 16-105, Jessie LaChance 3-23, Eric Scott 2-4, Dan Delos 8-32
PASSING: Avon – Noah Hahn 3-9-1, 23; Colin Moore 1-1-0, minus 6; Canton – Eric Scott 5-19-1, 38
RECEIVING: Avon – Chris Suttmeier 3-23, Stephen Griffin 1-minus 6; Canton – Jake Wood 1-14, Sebastian Gumbs 2-11, Terrence Brophy 1-8, Cameron Daley 1-5
PUNTING: Canton – Scott 5-163
RETURNS: Canton – Daley 2-44 (punts); Daley 4-40 (kickoffs), Gumbs 2-29 (kickoffs); Avon – Cappello 1-14 (kickoff), Bujwid 1-0
INTERCEPTIONS: Griffin (A) 1-56, Terrence Brophy (C) 1-2; SACK: Jimmy Murphy (A) 1-1