Josh Hartman | Sports Editor
The varsity football squad played for the final time of the season on Friday, October 30 and left it all on the field. The boys have nothing to hang their heads about as they stuck with the second-best team in the state all night but fell a little short in a 34-31 battle vs rival Brownsburg. Maybe the most exciting game of the year to witness had no senior quarterback Henry Hesson as he was unavailable to play. The reigns were given to freshman Mason Reynolds and he did not disappoint.
Avon, like in many games this year, opened the scoring and took the lead with a run from senior Clayton Peters. The Bulldogs responded with a kickoff return for a touchdown to tie the game at seven a piece. Reynolds wasn’t going to let this Brownsburg roster put him down, as he took the ball back down the field and hit senior Carmelo Mitchell with a pass to go up 14-7 late in the first. With no scoring in the second, the Orioles went to the locker room with a seven-point advantage.
The Bulldogs came out firing to start the second half, scoring 17 straight points to take a 24-14 lead over the Orioles. Avon went back down the field to start the fourth quarter, however they were forced to settle for three points after being stopped at the goal line. The Orioles would get the ball back again and with seven minutes to go in the game, Peters trotted into the endzone to give Avon another seven points. On Brownsburg next offensive drive, senior linebacker Sam Shockley snagged an interception to give Avon the ball back deep in Bulldog territory. The Orioles would go down and feed Peters the ball once again, who got into the endzone to make it 31-24 Avon with only four minutes remaining. However, Brownsburg wasn’t going to roll over and let this be the end for them. The Bulldogs went down the field in two and a half minutes, scored a touchdown to tie it up, then on their next drive, nailed a 34-yard field goal with nine seconds left in regulation to take a 34-31 lead. Reynolds would make two hail mary attempts, with both falling incomplete, giving the Bulldogs the win and a trip to the sectional championship against the Carmel Greyhounds next week.
It was a battle. Plain and simple. Avon was in it the entire way but just couldn’t win despite their hardest efforts. This wraps up another football season for our Orioles and I’d personally like to wish the seniors good luck with everything that is in store for their future. Avon falls to Brownsburg 34-31 in the sectional semifinal and they drop out of the playoffs and end their season with a record of 5-5.
Photos by Josh Hartman.