Clearview edges Avon 17-14

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SPORTS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 9-14-02, By MATT GOUL, Morning Journal Correspondent

``SHEFFIELD TWP. -- Big plays, defense and special teams -- that's what decided Avon and Clearview's Lorain County Conference opener last night.

Clearview had two big plays, which accounted for its touchdowns -- a 32-yard field goal in overtime and three interceptions by Dan Whitlock ...

''We played well on defense,'' Avon coach Lee Powell said. ''They scored on two plays. They scored on a 76-yard pass play and a 62-yard run play where we had them bottled up. They're good athletes. The bottom line was we weren't aggressive on offense.''

Both of Whitlock's last two picks came deep in Clearview's own territory. Trailing 14-7, Whitlock picked off Shawn Stencil's deep pass at Clearview's own 5. His game-ending interception came on a third-and-7. Stencil tried to thread his pass through, but Whitlock picked it off at the 3-yard line ...

Clearview's Dan Whitlock intercepts an Avon pass and is wrapped up by Avon's Adam Schatschneider. (photo by TOM WHITTINGTON)

Trailing 14-7 in the fourth quarter, Clearview faced a third-and-eight near midfield. A halfback toss to Louis Thomas looked to be stopped by the Eagles, but Thomas shook off defenders and raced down the sideline for a 62-yard TD run.

Avon's run defense was a brick wall in the first half. The Eagles held the Clippers to 18 yards on the ground ...

Both teams had just one first down via rushing in the first half. But, Clearview had big gains through the air ...

Despite the productive passing, one score was all that accounted for it throughout the first 21:35 of the game. Clearview was looking to go into halftime with a 7-0 lead, but Avon quickly changed things in the final 2:25 of the first half.

First, Eric Burgess ran in from 7-yards out, and cut Clearview's lead to 7-6. Less than one minute later, Stencil hooked up with Adam Schatschneider on a 39-yard touchdown pass. Stencil then connected with Sean Graver for two ...

In less than two minutes, Avon took a 14-7 lead into halftime.

The Eagles were without starting quarterback Jason O'Rourke, who was injured last week. Avon is hoping O'Rourke will be ready to return next week against Keystone at home.''

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