AVON – Avon High coach Jim Caouette has seen the growth of his team over the first seven weeks of the season. “We’ve gone from a team that gave away a few games to one that can finish games,” he said.
The Falcons took care of business with a solid 38-19 win over Granby Saturday night under the lights at the high school. Jimmy Murphy continued to make memories by rushing for a team-high 124 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 30 yards.
Murphy’s second touchdown came on a 26-yard run in the third quarter when he was surrounded by three Granby defenders near the 20-yard line. But they didn’t knock him down or try to drive him out-of-bounds. While the Bear defenders relaxed, Murphy spun and tip toed into open space and zipped down the sideline for the touchdown.
Avon (5-2, 4-1 Pequot West) won for the fifth time in six games and has put themselves in position to capture a share of another Pequot divisional title. Avon can earn a share of the title with a victory against Gilbert/Northwestern (5-1, 3-0 Pequot West) next Saturday in Winsted.
“I’m excited about where we are going,” Caouette said. Not only are the Falcons chasing a piece of the league championship but they want to keep their CIAC Class L playoff hopes alive. The Falcons are ranked 13th with the top eight teams earning a spot in the tournament.
Wins over Gilbert/Northwestern, Cromwell and Ellington/Somers would boost Avon’s chances.
“We talked all week about taking care of business,” Caouette said. We did the things we are capable of doing. I’m happy with our effort.”
Avon lost a heartbreaker to Canton, 17-14 with a touchdown on the final play of the game and they also had a late rally falter in a 21-18 loss to undefeated Valley Regional/Old Lyme. On Saturday, Avon gave Granby no chance to rally.
Murphy continued to play hard. He ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. Quarterback Noah Hahn completed 6-of-13 passes for 85 yards and two touchdown passes. In the last two games, Hahn has thrown five TD passes.
Avon seized command immediately. They marched 62 yards on 10 plays on their opening drive. Murphy, who ran for 23 yards on the drive, scored from the four-yard line with 5:01 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.
Burdick hit a season-long field goal from 32 yards to give Avon a 10-0 lead. Murphy and Teddy Allmendinger had back-to-back runs of 23 and 38 yards, respectively, to highlight the 80-yard march.
On Granby’s next possession, Murphy hit the ballcarrier forcing a fumble that was recovered by Allmendinger. Murphy ran for 25 yards on the first play of the drive and Hahn hit Dylan Marquis for a 14-yard touchdown pass for a 17-0 lead.
Murphy’s hard-driving 26-yard run with 3:22 left in the first half extended Avon’s lead to 24-0.
Early in the third quarter, Avon receiver Justin Reichler bobbled and dropped a potential touchdown pass. He was behind the defense but couldn’t pull the pass in. On Avon’s next offensive series, Hahn went right back to Reichler on the first play. Hahn threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Reichler to boost Avon’s lead to 31-0 with 9:23 left in the third quarter.
Granby got on the scoreboard when Curt Field completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to his brother, Connor with 2:01 left in the third quarter. Reichler blocked the extra point as Avon led, 31-6.
On Granby’s next series, Allmendinger intercepted Field and raced 73 yards with the interception for the touchdown and a 38-6 advantage. It is the fourth longest interception in school history.
Granby coach Rich Gadoury was pleased that his team marched 80 yards on 12 plays to score a touchdown in the third quarter against Avon’s top defense. The Bears converted on third down twice and converted on fourth down on a two-yard run by Curtis Field to keep the drive alive.
“We’re holding our heads high,” Gadoury said. “The last time we played Avon we gave up 38 points in the first quarter.
“We didn’t give up and I thought we went after them,” he said. “We tried to neutralize Murphy and put a body on him at all times. But he made plays.”
Dominic Pagano ran for a game-high 168 yards and completed 3-of-4 passes for 43 yards and one touchdown. Curt Field completed 6-of-24 passes for one touchdown and 100 yards.
Avon 38, Granby 19
Granby (2-4) 0 0 6 13 — 19
Avon (5-2) 7 17 14 0 — 38
A: Jimmy Murphy 4 run (John Burdick kick), 5:01
A: Burdick 32 FG, 11:05
A: Dylan Marquis 14 pass from Noah Hahn (Burdick kick), 8:56
A: Murphy 26 run (Burdick kick), 3:22
A: Justin Reichler 20 pass from Hahn (Burdick kick), 9:23
G: Connor Field 16 pass from Curt Field (kick blocked), 2:01
A: Teddy Allmendinger 73 interception return (Burdick kick), 0:36
G: Dom Pagano 23 run (Matt Holmes kick), 6:13
G: Ian Downey 30 pass from Pagano (run fails), 0:00
RUSHING: Avon – Dom DeBerardino 1-1, Nick Baldwin 1-0, Noah Hahn 5-9, Teddy Allmendinger 3-50, Jimmy Murphy 10-124, Stephen Griffin 1-1; Granby — Dominic Pagano 21-168, Anthony LaTorre 5-20, Curt Field 3-9, Jacob Largay 3-8, John Brucker 3-0
PASSING: Avon – Noah Hahn 6-13-1, 85; DeBerardino 0-1-0; Granby — Curt Field 6-24-1, 100; Dominic Pagano 3-4-0, 43
RECEIVING: Avon – Stephen Griffin 1-4, Jimmy Murphy 2-30, Dylan Marquis 1-14, Devon Macko 1-17, Justin Reichler 1-20; Granby — Ian Downey 4-62, Connor Field 3-54, Jacob Largary 1-17, Anthony LaTorre 1-10
INTERCEPTIONS: Avon – Teddy Allmendinger 1-73, Granby – Matt Holmes 1-0; FUMBLE RECOVERY: Holmes (G), Allmendinger (A); SACKS: John Brucker (G) 1-11