Avon blanks Fairview

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SPORTS ARTICLE from the Morning Journal, 8-31-02, By MIKE STEIN, Morning Journal Correspondent

``Avon's 'Doc' operates on Fairview

FAIRVIEW PARK -- At Fairview's Dr. James B. Daley Stadium, it was Avon's ''Doc'' performing the surgery.

Avon (2-0) senior tri-captain Dustin ''Doc'' Garris caught three long touchdown passes from quarterback Jason O'Rourke and intercepted two passes deep in his own territory, as the Eagles rolled to a 24-0 road victory over Fairview (0-2) last night in high school football action.

''I call him Doc because he's smart,'' Avon head coach Lee Powell said. ''Dustin's not the fastest guy in the world, but he's an excellent athlete. He's worked hard all year, and it's good to see a lot of his work pay off.''

Most of Garris' hard work paid off in the second quarter. He started the scoring when he caught a short out pass from O'Rourke, faked his defender, and turned it into a 23-yard touchdown reception with 7:58 to go in the half.

Later in the quarter, Garris intercepted Fairview quarterback Doug Laughlin in the end zone on a third-down pass. That started Avon's second scoring drive, capped by O'Rourke's long strike to Garris that went for a 62-yard touchdown pass and a 14-0 lead with 1:38 remaining in the first half. And Garris finished his operation with an interception on his own 1-yard line with 1:08 left in the half.

''I'm thinking touchdown every time I get the ball,'' Garris said. ''A couple plays before (the first touchdown) I knew I could beat my guy, and I told (O'Rourke) to throw me the ball.''

It worked so well in the second quarter, the duo hooked up one more time for the game's final score. Up 17-0 thanks to a Brandon Englehaupt 22-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, Avon faced a third-and-5 on Fairview's 38. O'Rourke rolled out and found Garris behind the defense inside the 10. Garris caught the pass at the 4, barely kept his feet inbounds, then twisted forward and fell across the goal line just inside the pylon. Englehaupt's extra point finished the scoring, giving the Eagles a 24-0 advantage with 7:54 remaining.

For the game, O'Rourke completed just 5-of-13 passes, but for 144 yards and three touchdowns. Garris caught four of the throws, totaling 133 yards.

The Eagles played a bend-but-don't-break defense that set up the game-breaking touchdown passes. Fairview went with a shotgun offense the entire game -- something Avon saw last week when playing Lorain Catholic -- but Laughlin completed just 7-of-24 passes for 118 yards. Garris' two picks turned the Warriors back at the goal line, and Englehaupt completed the rout by intercepting Laughlin's final pass of the game ...

Avon ... [had] 152 yards on the ground. Senior fullback Sean Graver led the way with 68 yards on 10 carries, while junior running back Dan Siegfried added 51 yards on 22 carries.

Overall, Avon held Fairview to just 192 yards. The Warriors also hurt themselves with 11 penalties for 105 yards.

And as for a new nickname for Doc after his big game?

''I think I'll stick with Doc,'' said Garris.

Next up for Avon -- a trip to Buckeye next Friday.''

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