Mills falls to Avon, 35-0. John Torsiello has the story.
BY, JOHN TORSIELLO
BRISTOL-Head coach Jose Santana knew it would be a tall order for his Lewis Mills football team to knock off Avon Saturday morning at Muzzy Field.
The Falcons have had a long run as a successful football program, while Mills is still a relative newbie at the sport. Plus, the visitors were not going to be in a good mood after getting upset by Canton last week in their home opener. Avon has won the Pequot Conference Uncas Division title in five of the past six years, gone 10-0 in the regular season twice, and qualified for the Class L tournament three times during that span. Ouch.
And thus it was, as the Falcons put 28 points on the scoreboard in the first half before taking the pedal off the metal somewhat in the second half en route to a 35-0 victory.
“We got punched in the mouth and we didn’t punch back,” was how Santana put it following his team’s loss, it’s second of the season. “We play well for a while and then we have lapses where the other team puts up points in quick fashion.”
Adding injury to insult, Mills, which was beaten handily by Morgan last week, also lost four starters to injury, perhaps none of the hurts more devastating than when starting quarterback, senior Collin Thorn, broke the middle finger on his throwing hand at the end of the second quarter.
“We lost four starters today,” said Santana. “In addition to Collin, Trevor Watts, Cam McHale and Keith Millum got knocked out of the game. Luckily, we have a week off before we go up to play Gilbert, so we’re just hoping to get healthy for that game.”
This one was over pretty much right after it started. Avon’s vaunted running attack, led by sophomore Teddy Allemendinger and senior James Murphy, pounded Mills’ overmatched defense in the first two quarters. The Falcons gained 231 yards on the round for the game and scored all five touchdowns running the ball.
Allmendinger began the scoring by going in from 11 yards out with six minutes gone in the game, and Murphy made it a two touchdown game five minutes later when he plunged in from one yard out.
Murphy then scored on runs of 7 and 27 yards in the second period and Avon had complete control of the game. Senior Stephen Griffin capped off the scoring when he plowed in from three yards out with 8:13 on the clock in the third period after Murphy recovered a Mills fumble on the three-yard line.
Murphy rushed 10 times for 94 yards, Allmendinger three times for 46 yards, and Griffin four times for 30 yards.
Quarterback Noah Hahn a poised senior, was also effective through the air, completing 9-of-17 passes for 81 yards. He threw one interception, that when he was picked off by Mills’ defensive back Matt Rinkus, only a sophomore, in the end zone to stop an Avon drive.
The Falcons’ fired up defense completely shut the Mills ground game down. It wasn’t until four minutes were left in the first half that the Spartans were able to muster their first, first down of the contest, played before a decent-sized crowd on a warm, breezy day during which rain threatened but didn’t fall until the conclusion. The Spartans gained only 22 yards rushing, 18 of that coming on one run by senior Aris Artemieadis late in the contest.
The only drive Mills was able to muster came on the arm of Thorn, who put together a nice sequence at the end of the first half when he logged most of his six completions and 59 yards in the air. But the drive stalled in Avon territory and Thorn’s season was put in jeopardy just before intermission when he broke his finger. Sophomore Lucas Lanning came in to run the offense in the second half and did a credible job, although Mills could not develop a sustained offense.
Avon 35, Lewis Mills 0
Avon 14 14 7 0 35
Lewis Mills 0 0 0 0 0
A-Teddy Allmendinger 11 run (John Burdick kick)
A-James Murphy 1 run (Burdick kick)
A-Murphy 7 run (Burdick kick)
A- Murphy 27 run (Burdick kick)
A-Stephen Griffin 3 run (Burdick kick)
Passing: A-Noah Hahn, 9-17-81-1; Dominic Deberardino 3-6-19-0. LM-Collin Thorn 6-13-59-0; Lucas Lanning 4-8-1-0. Rushing: A-James Murphy 10-94; Teddy Allmendinger 3-46; Stephen Griffin 4-30. LM-Artis Artemieadis 1-18. Receiving: A-Murphy 3-11; Justin Reichler 2-42; Anthony Agli 2-11. LM-Trevor Watts 4-42.
Records: Avon 1-1; Lewis Mills 0-2.