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Berlin moves closer to division title by running through Falcons, 42-7

Three Berlin High defenders bring Avon's Leon Asberry to the ground in Saturday's CCC Division III East contest in Avon. The ball was stripped from Asberry and recovered by Berlin.

Three Berlin High defenders bring Avon’s Leon Asberry to the ground in Saturday’s CCC Division III East contest in Avon. The ball was eventually stripped from Asberry and recovered by Berlin.

AVON, Oct. 22 – The Berlin High football wasn’t caught napping Saturday in their Central Connecticut Conference Division III East contest with Avon.

Two weeks ago, the Falcons made it difficult for No. 10 Bloomfield, the defending Class S champions. The Falcons led by six at halftime before eventually losing by 13 points.

Berlin reviewed the films from some of Avon’s previous games and saw that the Falcons had trouble stopping Rocky Hill’s double wing running attack in week 1. The Redcoats rolled out their own double wing package and ran for 315 yards and six touchdowns in a dominating 42-7 CCC Div. III East contest in rainy and chilly conditions.

The win moves Berlin (5-1, 3-0 CCC Div. III East) closer to the divisional title. Berlin can reclaim the CCC Div. III title they lost to Avon a year ago with a win over Tolland (4-2, 2-0 CCC Div. III East) in two weeks on Friday, Nov. 4 in Tolland.

Avon (0-6, 0-3 CCC Div. III East) dropped their sixth straight game for the first time since 2005. It’s the longest losing streak to open a season since the Falcons lost the first six contests of the 1986 campaign.

Since Rocky Hill had success running the ball for 325 yards and five touchdowns in September, Berlin decided to give it a try. It worked instantly.

Berlin's Mitch Mazlowski (6) gets away from Avon's Dan Quick Saturday. Mazlowski ran for a game-high 171 yards and four TDs.

Berlin’s Mitch Mazlowski (6) gets away from Avon’s Dan Quick Saturday. Mazlowski ran for a game-high 171 yards and four TDs.

On Berlin’s fourth play, it was Mitch Mazlowski skipping to the outside and racing down the sideline for a 53-yard touchdown run. On Berlin’s next drive, Mazlowski got into the open for a 36-yard touchdown run on the second play of the possession for a 14-0 lead.

Alex Halkias made it 21-0 by bursting through the middle of the line and into open space for a 64-yard run with 1:55 remaining in the first quarter.

“You put our running backs into space and you can make things happen,” Berlin first year coach Joe Aresimowicz said. “They were excited to run those plays. It’s straight blocking and power”

Mazlowski ran for a game-high 171 yards and four touchdowns on seven carries. Halkias ran for 138 yards and a pair of touchdowns on nine carries.

“(Avon) has talent and some great coaching,” Aresimowicz said. “We had to find out what other teams had success against them.”

Avon coach Sal Cintorino was disappointed in the performance of the defense. “We can’t let the guy at the point of attack miss. We have to make that tackle,” he said. “We played better in the second half.”

Avon QB Dylan Burgos (4) runs in the rain Saturday against Berlin.

Avon QB Dylan Burgos (4) runs in the rain Saturday against Berlin.

He was pleased with the effort in the second half. On Avon’s first drive of the second half, the Falcons twice converted on third down to keep the drive alive and once on fourth down.

On fourth down and one at the Avon 33, Leon Asberry took the snap and rushed up the middle for a two-yard gain to keep the drive alive. Two plays later on third down and one, Asberry bobbled the handoff but it bounced right up off the wet turf and back into his hands and he ran for two yards and a first down.

Two plays later on third down and eight from the Berlin 48-yard line, Asberry took a short pass from quarterback Dylan Burgos, broke a few tackles and powered down the sideline for a 37-yard reception to the Berlin 11.

But a fumble, a tackle for a loss and two incompletions ended the scoring opportunity.

Avon got one more chance to score when Dan Quick recovered a Berlin fumble with 3:30 remaining in the game on the Berlin 20-yard line. Burgos completed a seven-yard pass to Peter Gerosa on first down and on second down, Burgos found Gerosa in the end zone for a 13-yard score with 2:03 remaining.

The Falcons return to the field on Friday night when they host Northwest Catholic and former head coach Brett Quinion at 6:30 p.m. as part of Spirit Week activities on campus. The game will be played under portable lights, courtesy of the Avon Booster Club.

Berlin 42, Avon 7
At Avon
Avon (0-6)             0    0  0  7 – 7
Berlin (5-1)          21  14  7  0  — 42
First quarter
B: Mitch Mazlowski 53 run (Tufano Giancarlo kick), 7:01
B: Mazlowski 36 run (Giancarlo kick), 3:56
B: Alex Halkias 64 run (Giancarlo kick), 2:12
Second quarter
B: Mazlowski 47 run (kick fails), 8:49
B: Halkias 17 run (Mazlowski run), 8:21
Third quarter
B: Mazlowski 3 run (Giancarlo kick), 5:52
Fourth quarter
A: Peter Gerosa 13 pass from Dylan Burgos (David Gondek kick), 2:03
Individual statistics
RUSHING: Avon – Dylan Burgos 8-30, Leon Asberry 14-29, Ian McCutcheon 2-7, Dan Quick 1-0; Berlin – Tyler Dinkins 1-5, Mitch Mazlowski 7-171, Alex Halkias 9-138, Zach Hrubeic 2-8, Jack Hamel 1-minus 7
PASSING: Avon – Burgos 6-17-1, 99; Berlin – Hamel 1-3-0, 3
RECEIVING: Berlin – Hrubiec 1-3, Avon – Ian McCutcheon 1-17, Dan Quick 1-16, Tommy Donovan 1-9, Leon Asberry 1-37, Peter Gerosa 2-20
INTERCEPTIONS: Jack Hamel (B) 1-12, FUMBLE RECOVERY: Hrubiec (B) 1-13, Burby Malachi (B); KICKOFF RETURNS – Spencer Jones (A) 5-67, Alejandro Bonilla (B) 1-5

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.

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