Avon Eagles rout Lorain Catholic

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SPORTS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 8-25-01, By Scott Sommers, Morning Journal Correspondent

``Smooth Takeoff: Seniors lead Eagle rout of LC

LORAIN -- All preseason Avon coach Lee Powell has stressed to his players the importance of the team and leadership.

Last night, his message took hold.

Avon got three touchdowns from senior Matt Miesle and a pair of touchdown passes from senior Chad Stencil, while the defense shut down the Spartans run-and-shoot offense in the first half en route to a 62-19 win in the season opener for both squads.

''We have 14 seniors on this team and they were having fun playing the game of football,'' Powell said. ''We have a lot of experience on both sides of the ball and it showed. The kids all did a great job and we got contributions from every part of the team.

''Our defense gave us good field position and our offense did what they had to do with that position.''

Lorain Catholic, who started three sophomores and two freshman on its offensive line, used the no huddle to try and slow down the more experienced Eagles squad.

It didn't work on the first series as Kutting was hurried on all three attempts, two of which he failed to even throw. After a Spartans punt, the Eagles went to work quickly on offense.

On the Eagles' first offensive play of the season, Stencil hit Russ Logan on a fly pattern 30 yards down field, and Logan took it the rest of the way, completing the 67-yard scoring play.

Josh Zunis
Avon's Josh Zunis, right, slips away from Lorain Catholic's Adam Sockel to score a two-point conversion last night. (JIM BOBEL)

Just 59 seconds later, Josh Zunis scored from 5 yards out after Jason O'Rourke picked off Kutting.

Kutting, who was harassed all night by the Eagles' front seven, tossed three interceptions in the first half.

''We knew that they would come out throwing,'' 5-foot-10, 195-pound linebacker Eric Burgess said. ''Our defensive line did a great job all night getting pressure on Kutting. He is a very good quarterback and we knew that we had to contain him.''

Miesle, a 5-10, 175-pound fullback, scored the first of his three touchdowns with just over five minutes left in the first quarter, giving the Eagles a 20-0 lead.

The offensive line of Jerome Walker, Kyle Schnaufer, Robert Malone and Joshua Ruschau opened up holes for Miesle, who also scored on runs of 24 and 4 yards, and protected Stencil. Miesle led the Eagles' ground game with 112 yards on just 13 carries. Zunis chipped in with 60 yards on 13 carries. The Eagles gained 300 yards as a team.

Stencil completed four passes for 138 yards and the two touchdowns.

''I have to give a lot of credit to my offensive line,'' Miesle said. ''We had one play (a trap play) that was working all game. I wouldn't have had this kind of game without them.'' ...

The road gets a little tougher for Avon next week, hosting state playoff qualifier Fairview. The Spartans look to bounce back next week at home against rival Elyria Catholic. '' ''

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