Connect with us

High School Football

High School Football Playoffs: #1 Seed Avon Pulls Away from #5 Seed Brecksville in 38-28 Win

Tried and tested for years, The Avon Eagles winning culture has resulted in regional dominance in Division II, Region 6 football.

That championship DNA was on display as the No. 1 seeded Eagles defeated No. 5 seed Brecksville-Broadview Heights Bees 38-28 in the Division II, Region 6 semifinal.

This marks the fourth consecutive year Avon (9-0) reached the regional final.

Paving the way, was Senior Niko Pappas, who showcased his abilities as a dual-threat quarterback.

Niko (Pappas) can run it, can throw it,” Eagles’ coach Mike Elder said.

“He’s an outstanding football player and I wouldn’t want anyone else playing quarterback for us.”

He passed for 214 yards with two touchdowns in the air, while rushing for 92 yards and two more touchdowns on the drive.

“I just had to go through my reads (as a quarterback),” Pappas said.

“Whatever my read gives me, I have to take what it gives me and take it down the field.”

On third downs, he connected with his receivers to keep the chains moving. One of those receivers being Junior Jim Conwell, who caught only 11 passes on the year before facing the Bees (7-2).

Against Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Conwell caught six passes for 119 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

(The Bees) were [playing man coverage],” Conwell describes his touchdown catch.

“I ran a hitch (route); caught it. And, I thought someone was going to be right there to tackle me but no one was. I made a move, found a seam and scored.”

Avon’s defense stepped up when it had to. They stood strong on a goal-line stand in the second quarter that resulted in Bees’ running back Garrett Kubitz getting stuffed in the 1-yard line on a fourth-and-goal.

The Eagles’ offense went right down the field in eight plays to go 99 yards to score with a 6-yard Pappas run to lead 24-14 with 47 seconds to go in the first half.

“That (goal-line stand) was a big play,” Elder describes the second quarter.

“We were able to stop them and keep them out of the endzone.”

The fourth quarter started with Avon leading 24-21 before Brecksville-Broadview Heights’ quarterback Joe Labas threw a touchdown pass to Jeremy Janazzo a minute later to give them the 28-24 lead.

The Eagles responded with a long touchdown run from Pappas (43 yards) to make the score 31-28.

The unexpected happened on the ensuing kickoff as Avon went for a surprise onside kick, which they recovered, but was flagged for illegal touching on the Eagles, and resulted in Brecksville-Broadview Heights having possession on the 50-yard line.

Three plays later, Kubitz fumbled the ball and was recovered by Avon.

[The results of the onside kickoff] was disappointing, because we think we had it,..” Elder said.

“Clearly, the biggest play was after we didn’t get it and the officials made it so that (Brecksville-Broadview Heights) did. We were able to get the turnover, which was awesome to get the momentum back.”

The Bees produced offense with Kubitz and Labas.

Kubitz rushed in a 1-yard touchdown to cut Avon’s lead 24-21.

To open the scoring, Labas ran a 1-yard touchdown after their defense held Avon’s first drive in the first quarter.

Avon answered with a 44-yard field goal from kicker Nathaniel Vakos to make the score 7-3.

Avon advances to it’s fourth-straight regional final, which will be against rival No. 3 seed Avon Lake after they defeated No. 2 seed Toledo Central Catholic 16-14.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





Show Your Team Spirit

NEO Sports Insiders Newsletter

Sign up to receive our NEOSI newsletter, and keep up to date with all the latest Cleveland sports news.

Recent Comments


More in High School Football