By Ted Glanzer
AVON, Nov. 25 — The Avon High football team ended its season and its membership in the Pequot Conference in style on Tuesday evening with a 48-7 thrashing of longtime rival Gilbert/Northwestern.
A predicted snowstorm for Wednesday and Thursday coupled with a few more losses than expected meant that it wasn’t quite the Thanksgiving Day matchup that both teams had hoped.
“Record-wise, it wasn’t where we wanted to be,” Falcons head coach Jim Caouette said. “But I’m so proud of these kids because they fight and they fight hard, every single game for 48 minutes.”
Avon High (7-4, 7-2 Pequot Uncas) came out of the locker room fired up, scoring on its first five possessions, racing out to a 34-0 lead with 6:47 left in the first half. The lead swelled to 48-0 before the Yellowjackets (4-7, 4-5 Pequot Uncas) scored on Avon’s reserves with 1:44 left in the game.
“They came out ready and we protected the football,” Caouette said of his players. “That’s kind of been our Achilles heel all year. If we had protected the football a little more, we probably would be getting ready for a playoff game next week.”
Running back Teddy Allmendinger led Avon with 148 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries, while Andrew Blackmore rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown on just three carries. Senior Jameson Dlugolecki celebrated his final game in a Falcons uniform by rushing for two touchdowns in the first half.
Junior quarterback Sean Del Gallo was also sharp, rushing for 71 yards and a touchdown and passing for another 99 yards and a score. Junior Geoff Kirk led all receivers with 97 yards on three catches, including a 17-yard touchdown grab.
On defense, Avon yielded just 239 yards to the Yellowjackets. Running back Paxton Franklin led Gilbert with 85 hard-fought yards on 21 carries, while Matthew Nieves (8 carries, 42 yards) scored the Yellowjackets’ only touchdown on a 2-yard plunge.
For nearly the entire game, the Falcons effectively harassed Gilbert quarterback Aiden Tellier, who was only able to complete 6 of 17 passes for 77 yards.
Yellowjackets head coach Scott Salius said that the game was a microcosm of the entire season.
“It’s kind of what we did all year,” Salius said. “We didn’t play up to our potential. Avon is a very good team. For us to beat them, we had to come out and play physical, hard, fast downhill football and we didn’t. We needed to step it up and we didn’t bring the intensity we needed tonight.”
The Falcons victory meant that the eight members of the senior class (Jake Corrigan, Dlugolecki, Gabe Folkwein, Kurt Ollestad, Gino Bonalumi, Harrison Gill, Ryan Rogers, and Dom Martinez) ended their careers in style.
“This senior class was eight great kids who worked their tails off on the field and in the classroom,” Caouette said. “I’m just so proud of this senior class. I wish I could have done more for them by getting them into the playoffs.”
The victory didn’t just end the season on a high note for the Falcons. It also provides some much-needed momentum as Avon High bids farewell to the Pequot Conference and joins the Central Connecticut Conference in September 2015.
“We’re building something special. We’re ready for the CCC,” said Caouette, who credited Avon High’s first-year athletic director Greg Ferry for his guidance throughout the season. “The CCC is no joke. There are a lot of great football teams. We’re going to have to work really hard to compete week in and week out.”
NOTES: The school secured portable lights to play the game at night.
Avon 48, Gilbert/NWR 7
Gilbert/NWR (4-7) 0 0 0 7 — 7
Avon (7-4) 21 13 14 0 — 48
A: Jamie Dlugolecki 2 run (Alden Getz kick), 9:49
A: Geoff Kirk 17 pass from Sean Del Gallo (Getz kick), 5:41
A: Teddy Allmendinger 8 run (Getz kick), 3:00
A: Dlugolecki 9 run (Getz kick), 9:57
A: Del Gallo 2 run (kick blocked), 6:47
A: Allmendinger 45 run (Getz kick), 6:53
A: Andrew Blackmore 24 run (Getz kick), 1:09
G: Nieves 2-yard run (Columbie kick), 1:44
RUSHING – Avon: Del Gallo 7-71, Allmendinger 10-148, Dlugolecki 2-11, Blackmore 3-85, Gill 1-8, Folkwein 1-1, Jones 1-3, Asberry 1-4; Gilbert/NWR – Nieves 8-42, Tellier 8-23, Rouleau 4-15, Franklin 21-84, Perschino 2-3
PASSING – Avon: Del Gallo 4-8-0, 99; Gilbert/NWR: Tellier 6-17-0, 77
RECEIVING: Avon: Kirk 3-97, Jordan Williams 1-2; Gilbert/NWR: Kreh 3-55, Schiffer 1-7, Mulligan 1-15, Franklin 1-0