The football teams from Avon and Bay High Schools both won opening round playoff games last Friday and advance to regional semi-finals showdowns this weekend.
Avon, ranked first in the state in the AP Div. II poll, hosted a big playoff opener against Toledo St. John Jesuit and posted a 28-12 victory. The win was sweet vindication from last year’s opening round loss to Avon Lake by a score of 27-26. It was a premature end to the hopes of a deep playoff run and hurt so deep that Coach Mike Elder kept the result posted on scoreboard at Firment Field through the offseason. The motivation worked as the Eagles came out with a chip on their shoulder.
Tony Eberhardt rushed for 124 yards on 19 carries and scored three times while QB Ryan Maloy threw for 130 yards and rushed for 70 yards on 12 carries, including a 54-yard breakaway in the third quarter.
Now it’s off to Strongsville High where the 11-0 Eagles will meet Medina Highland this Friday. The Hornets are another team that cost the Eagles a regional title in 2013 with a 24-21 decision. About a year later, Avon coach Elder was asked how long it took him to get over the last second defeat. “I haven’t,” he growled. Be ready, Avon fans – your Eagles will be!
Bay High hosted the school’s first playoff game ever and did it in style with a 28-18 Div. II Regional win last Friday. Bay, now boasting the only 11-0 record in Rocket football history, rushed for 321 yards behind the pounding ground attack of Trey Psota and Mark Olson along with the double pass-run threat of QB Connor Shell. Bay’s defense also forced two big turnovers – one by Olson. Safety RJ Sunahara then intercepted a second half pass to set up a score. Psota led the way with 202 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 22 carries. Bay meets 9-2 Padua Friday night at North Royalton.