Un­beaten An­thony Wayne is Avon’s next big test

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - SPORTS - By Robert Fen­bers Sports@Morn­ingJour­nal.com @MJour­nalS­ports on Twit­ter

Look­ing to get bet­ter and bet­ter each week, the Avon Ea­gles are con­fi­dent as they head into their Divi­sion II, Re­gion 6 semi­fi­nal matchup against un­de­feated White­house An­thony Wayne.

Af­ter start­ing out slow, the third-seeded Ea­gles (101) took care of busi­ness at home in their open­ing round matchup against Hol­land Spring­field, soar­ing past the sixth-seeded Blue Devils, 4914, on Nov. 2.

Look­ing back on the per­for­mance, Coach Mike El­der thought the game had some high mo­ments, and some mo­ments where the team could have been much bet­ter.

“It was about align­ment, is re­ally what it was,” El­der said. “When we fig­ured out how to align, I felt like we played re­ally good de­fense, and ob­vi­ously we got pres­sure on the quar­ter­back and that was a big help.”

The Ea­gles took a 35-14 lead at half­time and never looked back.

With the No. 2 Gen­er­als (11-0) up next, Avon will look to stay fo­cused, clean up the mis­takes and try to cause An­thony Wayne to make some of its own.

“The first thing we have to do is just be true to our­selves and just do what we do well,” El­der said. “But then in-game, you have to make in-game ad­just­ments and you have to have an­swers for what they do. They’re well-coached, so they’ll take away some things that we are in­her­ently good at be­cause they’ll have the schemes to do so.”

Se­nior quar­ter­back Ryan Maloy once again posted an­other stel­lar per­for­mance, tal­ly­ing five to­tal touch­downs (three rush and two pass) as he led the Ea­gles of­fense in a fa­mil­iar scene of high-pres­sure un­der the Fri­day night lights.

“Yeah, Ryan Maloy is our leader,” El­der said. “He has been a starter for us for three years and he is 32-2 in var­sity starts. He has a great deal of ex­pe­ri­ence, and when things are not go­ing well, that’s when he is at his best. That’s what I’m most proud of him for. He had an­other great game, and I feel like as long as he is healthy for us, we have a chance to beat any­body.”

Avon’s de­fense cer­tainly looked locked-in as they shut down the Blue Devils’ of­fen­sive weapons in the sec­ond­half, al­low­ing the Ea­gles to build up an in­sur­mount­able lead and grab the vic­tory.

El­der cred­ited his de­fense for buck­ling down in the sec­ond half, some­thing they’ll need to do for all 48 min­utes if they want to have a shot against a high-pow­ered White­house An­thony Wayne squad.

“Well, I thought our de­fense played their best game of the year,” El­der said. “The first few pos­ses­sions it took them awhile to ad­just to some of the speed of some of the re­ceivers from Spring­field, but af­ter that I thought they played their best foot­ball game of the year de­fen­sively.”

El­der likened An­thony Wayne as a mir­ror-image of Avon.

“I think it all starts with tak­ing away the run,” he said. “They are very ca­pa­ble. I think An­thony Wayne is a lot like us. They can run it and throw it, they play great de­fense and they are very well coached. Avon and An­thony Wayne are very sim­i­lar teams. It’s like we our play­ing our­selves.”

AIMEE BIELOZER — THE MORN­ING JOUR­NAL

Avon’s Ryan Maloy cel­e­brates on Nov. 2.

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