AVON, Nov. 4, 2022 – It’s nothing new to Avon defensive coordinator Matt Redman when he watches Falcon QB Connor Lavore run into a pile of defenders.
In the single-wing offense, it happens all of the time. “It’s neat to see him run into one of those big piles (of players) and you see his legs keep churning and then he pops out on the other side (and he is in the clear),” he said.
Lavore ran for three touchdowns in Friday night’s 31-21 Central Connecticut Conference Tier III victory over winless Plainville. On two of his touchdown runs, Lavore ran into the middle of the field and into a group of Blue Devil defenders before finding a way out of the scrum and into the open for touchdown runs of 39 and 15 yards.
He also had 29 yards on a similar play and would have scored his fourth TD of the game but was caught from behind 15 yards away from the goal line. Lavore ran for a game-high 180 yards and three TDs on 30 carries as Avon improved to 4-4 on the season.
“Every coach we talk to says he is a heck of a runner,” Redman said. “He is hard to bring down.”
Lavore’s hard-running helped the Falcons keep one step ahead of Plainville (0-8, 0-4 CCC Tier III). The Blue Devils recovered three Avon fumbles and had some big special teams plays.
Joe Kennedy scored on a 90-yard punt return and had a 60-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the second quarter for the Blue Devils.
“We have some talent out there but we’re just struggling to put it together,” Plainville coach Tim Shea said. “It’s not due to a lack of trying. We’re close. We’re close, close, close. It’s just one of those years.”
Plainville had two big plays inside the 20-yard line wiped out due to holding penalties. “We’re young in a lot of spots,” he said.
Injuries haven’t helped nor has sickness whether that is the flu or COVID-19. Avon head coach Brendan Smith wasn’t on the sideline because he is recovering from being sick all week. The Falcons practiced just Wednesday and Thursday because they couldn’t put enough healthy kids together to practice.
Avon had runs of dominance. The Falcons sacked Plainville QB Dom Arbarno for an 11-yard loss on the first play of the game. After forcing a Plainville punt on their first series of plays, the Falcons quickly marched 25 yards on four plays with Lavore scoring from the three-yard line for a touchdown and adding a two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
On Plainville’s next series, John Murphy intercepted a pass and raced 55 yards untouched into the end zone for a touchdown. Another Lavore conversion run made it 16-0 with just 6:27 left in the first quarter.
On Avon’s next possession, the Falcons marched 55 yards on five plays with Lavore breaking through a crowded line of scrimmage for a 39-yard touchdown run with 11:50 left in the second quarter. Anna Loveless’ extra point made it 23-0.
Kennedy made some plays to help Plainville get back in the game. Kennedy raced 90 yards up the far side of the field and added an extra point to cut the lead to 23-7 with 7:58 left in the second quarter.
Late in the second quarter, Kennedy scooped up a loose ball and headed toward the end zone, scoring on a 60-yard fumble return. With the extra point from Kennedy, the Blue Devils closed within nine points, 23-14 with 2:08 left in the first half.
Avon took the air out of any Plainville comeback attempt with a dominating third quarter drive. The Falcons marched 60-yards on 16 plays on a drive that ate up 9:18 of the 12-minute quarter ended with Lavore breaking through the line of scrimmage for his second TD of the day and a 31-14 lead.
Avon 31, Plainville 14
Plainville (0-8) 0 14 0 7 — 21
Avon (4-4) 16 7 8 0 — 31
A: Connor Lavore 3 run (Lavore run), 7:58
A: John Murphy 55 interception return (Lavore run), 6:27
A: Lavore 39 run (Anna Loveless kick), 11:50
P: Joe Kennedy 90 punt return (Kennedy kick), 7:58
P: Kennedy 60 fumble return (Kennedy kick), 2:08
A: Lavore 15 run (Lavore run), 2:31
P: Joe Vasquez 30 pass from Dom Abarno (Kennedy kick), 2:57
RUSHING: Avon — Connor Lavore 30-180, Nik Meltser 12-24, Cole Milardo 3-16, Mason Eckerlin 3-12; Plainville — Marcus Kiley 18-95, Dom Arbarno 6-minus 12, Joe Kennedy 2-2
PASSING: Avon — Connor Lavore 0-3-0; PLainville — Dom Arbarno 10-18-1, 93
RECEIVING: Plainville — Peter Bocompani 4-39, Joe Vasquez 4-36, Joe Kennedy 1-6, Kye McGraw 1-17
SACKS — Nick Seminara (A) 1½-21, Christain Wilson (A) ½-11, Alex Gauthier (A) ½-4, Toby Klafter (A) ½-4; FUMBLE REC: Gauthier (A) 1-3, Andrew Sielski (A) 1-0; Shane McCormick (P) 1-0, Joe Kennedy (P) 1-60, Bobby Wright (P) 1-0; INTERCEPTION: John Murphy (A) 1-55