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Defense helps Avon outlast Northwest Catholic and earn second win of season

Avon QB Dylan Burgos is taken to the ground by Northwest Catholic’s Cooper Lorenz and Teyshawn Jackson in Saturday’s game in West Hartford. (Photo courtesy Northwest Catholic HS)

WEST HARTFORD, Oct. 7 – Avon’s Jadon Folkwein had the big game-winning touchdown run on Saturday against Northwest Catholic – a 53-yard scamper in the fourth quarter that put the Falcons ahead for good as Avon snapped a three-game losing streak with a 10-7 victory over the Lions in CCC Division III play.

But this was a game won in the trenches by the offensive and defensive lines. The host Lions were able to move the ball but could only manage to put up seven points on the board. The Avon defense came up with their first safety of the year, tackling NW Catholic QB Connor Rich in the end zone to take a 2-0 lead.

“The defensive played extremely well and kept Northwest Catholic out of the end zone,” Avon High coach Sal Cintorino said. “They bottled up (NWC) on their side of the field for the entire day with the exception of one big play.”

Avon (2-3) took a 2-0 lead on a third quarter safety – their first since 2015 and just the tenth safety in the team’s history. “(Rich) was attempted to pass from the end zone and a slew of (Avon) defensemen forced him to scramble out of the pocket,” Cintorino said. “As he was being pulled to the ground, he just flung the ball out of bounds in the end zone.”

Northwest Catholic (1-4) took a 7-2 lead at the end of the third quarter on an 18-yard run by Spencer Merkel. But that was it for the Lions offense.

“Ryan Ollestad and Matt Bourquin contained their quarterback run game along with a big presence from our interior defensive line led by Henry Schrecenghost, Chris Gens and Vinny Bonalumi,” Cintorino said. “When NWC tried to attack the perimeter, our defensive ends Tucker Gill and Pranav Tadepalli were road blocks for them. The defensive secondary was led by Jadon Folkwein, who ended the game with an interception.”

Gill led the way for the Falcons with nine tackles while Gens had six tackles, a sack and a tackle for a loss. Burgos made seven shots while Schrecenghost made five tackles and had a sack.

Folkwein led the Falcons on the ground, running for 109 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Burgos ran for 45 yards on 16 carries. Burgos completed 6-of-11 passes for 118 yards. Francesco Longo made three catches for 30 yards while Ollestad had two receptions for 21 yards.

It was a big win for the Falcons, who have a bye next week. They return to action on Friday, Oct. 20, when travel to Berlin and Scalise Field to face the defending CCC Division III East champion Redcoats at 6:30 p.m.

It was the fewest points scored in a victory by the Falcons since 1992 when they beat East Catholic, 9-3. The last time that Avon scored 10 points in a win was in 1986 — more than 30 years ago — when the Falcons beat Farmington, 10-6 in the final game of the season.

Avon 10, Northwest Catholic 7
At West Hartford
Avon (2-3)                                   0  0  2  8  — 10
N.W. Catholic (1-4)                     0  0  7  0  — 7
Third quarter
A: Safety: QB Connor Rich sacked in end zone, 5:00
NW: Spencer Merkel 18 run (Colby Lytle kick), 0:00
Fourth quarter
A: Jadon Folkwein 53 run (Dylan Burgos run), 10:18
Individual statistics
RUSHING: Avon – Jadon Folkwein 19-109, Dylan Burgos 16-45
PASSING: Avon – Burgos 6-11-0, 118
RECEIVING: Avon – Sean Nolan 1-42, Francesco Longo 3-30, Grant Corbett 1-26, Ryan Ollestad 2-21
TACKLES: Avon – Gill 9, Burgos 7, Tadepalli 5, Longo 5, Schrecenghost 5, Gens 6; SACKS: Schrecenghost, Gens; INTERCEPTION: Folkwein

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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