Avon thwarts Firelands

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SPORTS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram. 9-22-01, By Ryan Waldheger

``HENRIETTA TWP. -- Few would have thought that this Lorain County Conference matchup would produce such a gem of a game ...

The Falcons and Eagles slugged it out through four quarters and into an overtime period on Friday before Avon's senior fullback Matt Miesle bailed out the favored Eagles with a 1-yard game-winning plunge in overtime for a 19-16 victory.

"I'm going to get old fast if I have to go through that again," Avon coach Lee Powell said. "First of all, I have to give Firelands a great deal of credit. They were struggling the first four weeks, searching for a victory, and they came out and they outplayed us definitely in that first half.

And I'm proud of our kids for the second half. They came out in the second half, got rid of all of their distractions, and we played a good half of football. Our defense gave us a chance and our offense started to put a couple more things together."

Firelands had Avon in a hole in the third quarter, leading 13-0. In the end, however, the Eagles offense was just a bit too much. Matt Miesle ran for three late touchdowns as the Eagles slipped away with a 2-0 record in the LCC, 3-2 overall ...

Firelands received the ball first in overtime with the score locked at 13. Mike Shamblin's fourth-and-1 scamper to Avon's 3-yard line left Firelands fans screaming and the Falcons in position to capitalize. But two plays later, quarterback Matt Hasel fumbled a pitch that pushed the Falcons back near the 20.

Following an incomplete pass, it appeared Firelands attempt was finished. But Shamblin again responded in the clutch, this time connecting on a 37-yard field goal to push his team ahead.

But the celebration was short-lived.

Avon quarterback Chad Stencil found Michael Schatschneider over the middle and the senior tight end bulldozed his way to the 1. Miesle sealed it a play later ...

Scoring his fifth, sixth and seventh touchdowns and gaining 73 yards on 11 carries, Miesle keyed a second-half Eagles resurgence.

"We didn't really make any adjustments at halftime," Powell said. "We we re staying on our blocks long enough and they had the ball a good deal of the first half. Jerome (Walker) and Mike Schatschneider both, blocking over the tight end, did a heck of nice job.

Zunnis got in a grove a little bit there at the tailback spot. And Miesle, I mean those were two huge runs, he ran for two touchdowns, one got called back and so he just ran for another one."

Avon 0 0 7 6 6 -- 19

Firelands 7 0 6 0 3 -- 16


F -- Matt Hasel 1 run (Mike Shamblin kick)

F -- Ryan Toledo 59 pass from Hasel (kick failed)

A -- Matt Miesle 3 run (Brandon Smith kick)

A -- Matt Miesle 24 run (kick failed)

F -- Shamblin 37 field goal

A -- Matt Miesle 1 run

Team statistics

Avon Firelands

First downs 11 14

-- by rushing 7 9

-- by passing 3 3

-- by penalty 1 2

Yards rushing 107 157

Yards passing 161 119

Total offense 267 276

Passes attempted/completed 12/22 7/17

Intercepted by 1 0

Fumbles/lost 0/0 4/1

Penalties/yards 4/40 2/20

Individual statistics

RUSHING -- (A) Matt Miesle 11-73, Josh Zunis 19-43, Dan Siegfried 2-5, Russ Logan 1-(-3), Chad Stencil 1-(-11). (F) Mike Shamblin 13-56, Dan Strohsack 12-51, Matt Hasel 11-44, Ryan Toledo 10-19, Jim Novak 1-(-13).

PASSING -- (A) Chad Stencil 12-22-161-0. (F) Matt Hasel 7-16-119-1, Jim Hammond 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING -- (A) Russ Logan 7-97, Erik Gorman 2-28, Michael Schatschneider 3-36. (F) Ryan Toledo 1-59, Mike Shamblin 2-27, Paul Callahan 2-19, Brett Buchs 2-14. ''

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