Avon stuns Middies

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SPORTS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 10-26-02, By Duane B. Davidson, Morning Journal Correspondent

``AVON -- Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

In the end, an Eagle from Avon went airborne to break the Midview Middies' hearts, their dream of an undefeated season and sole possession of the Lorain County Conference title.

Senior quarterback Jason O'Rourke scored his second rushing touchdown (8 yards) in overtime as Avon defeated playoff-bound Midview, 13-6, for the first time since 1996.

Avon (7-3, 5-2 LCC) received the ball first in the overtime. O'Rourke ran right on a roll-out for six yards on first down. On third-and-2 from the 12, O'Rourke fought for a gain of 3. Two plays later, O'Rourke employed his heroics.

As he leapt, O'Rourke was hit by a Middie defender that caused the senior signal caller to flip head-over-heels for the score.

Fellow senior Brandon Englehaupt nailed the extra point.

''I dropped back, and rolled out,'' said O'Rourke, ''then I saw the end zone, and knew I had to get there, even if it met leaping.''

When asked if he had practiced the maneuver before, O'Rourke replied with a grin.

''Yeah, about four or five times, but this is the first time I landed for a touchdown,'' he said ...

''I am just speechless. We talked about being ready,'' Eagles coach Lee Powell said. ''This was the best possible send-off for our seniors. We have a sign that says 'Be a mudder.' We were (last night). I saw it in these kids' eyes ... they believed.'' ...''

Everyone was waiting for Midview to explode and start to march, but Avon had the home crowd exploding 6:49 before the half when O'Rourke scrambled 12 yards for a score, capping a 10-play, 54-yard drive. Avon running back Dan Sigfried converted a fourth-and-2 from the Middie 27, with a 16-yard burst around left end ...

Midview, which finishes the regular season 9-1 overall and 7-1 in the LCC, shares the conference title with Wellington, which had won the previous two titles. The Dukes secured their share with a 41-0 win over Firelands last night ...''

Avon quarterback Jason O'Rourke makes a long run Friday in the fourth quarter of the Middies 13-6 overtime loss that cost them the outright Lorain County Conference title and a perfect regular season. Photo by TOM MAHL/CHRONICLE

SPORTS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 10-26-02, By Bob Daniels

AVON -- In a driving rain and with a remarkable effort by its defense, Avon pulled the upset of the Lorain County Conference football season Friday night.

The Eagles held Midview scoreless for nearly 44 minutes, then dumped the heavily favored Middies 13-6 with senior quarterback Jason O'Rourke s second touchdown in overtime.

With their effort, the Eagles not only spoiled an undefeated season for the Middies (9-1, 6-1 LCC), but also dropped them into a tie with Wellington for the LCC championship.

While the loss apparently did not cost Midview a spot in the playoffs, which begin next weekend, it deprived them of a probable first-round home game.

The Eagle defense, which spent nearly 16 minutes on the field in the third and fourth quarters, went back into the mud in overtime and held Midview to 1 yard in four plays.

When it was over, the jubilant Eagles (7-3, 5-2 LCC) ran and slid across the muck and slime on their stomachs like penguins on an ice floe.

"They re mudders," Avon coach Lee Powell said of his wet and muddy football team. "We have written up on our board in there, Be A Mudder, and they were mudders today."

None more so than junior tailback Dan Siegfried, who slogged through the muck 25 times for 91 yards, 13 times for 73 yards in the first half.

When the Eagles drove 54 yards for a touchdown in 10 plays in the second quarter, Siegfried carried six times for 37 of the yards. His big gainer was a 16-yarder on a pitchout around the left side that took the ball to the Midview 12.

After an incompletion, O'Rourke scrambled for the touchdwon.

He also scrambled for the overtime score.

"It was a pass play, I rolled out and I saw the end zone," O'Rourke said. "I knew I had to get in somehow. I saw the Midview defenders there and I figured the only way I could get in was go up over the top of them.

Powell said he felt positive heading into overtime.

"Our kids believed they could get it done," said Powell. "I looked into their eyes waiting for overtime and they were relaxed, they were calm, they believed they could get it in there. And that's what happened."

O'Rourke made it happen, sprinting 7 yards around the left side, diving over defenders and the goal line for the final yard into the end zone on second-and-goal from the Midview 8. Brandon Englehaupt kicked the extra point ... ''

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