This page was last updated on: October 6, 2009
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2009 preview: Avon vs. Cromwell
Copyright 2009,
Collinsville Publishing Co.
Avon Football Online
Avon, Connecticut
Avon (3-0) vs.
No. 9 Cromwell (3-0)
When: Saturday, Oct. 3
Where: At Avon High
When: 3:30 p.m.
Series: 0-1
Of note: The two teams played for the first time a year ago in the season opening contest with the Panthers winning, 21-0. ... This is the sixth time that Avon has faced a defending state champion.  They are 0-5 in the previous 5 games.  ... Cromwell is ranked No. 9 in the New Haven Register and Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance poll and No. 10 in the New London Day poll. ... Avon is 27th in the CSWA poll.

About Cromwell
Coach: Sal Morello, 8th year (64-10)
Conference: Pequot Conference Sassacus Division
Record: 3-0, 3-0 Sassacus. Last year: 10-1, 8-0 Sassacus, 12-1, Class S champions
Top players: Seniors -- QB Bobby Jordan, RB Carlton Forbes, LB Jamie Scott, LB Matt Colangelo, LB Calvin Winston

2009 results
Sept. 19: W, Haddam-Killingworth, 30-0
Sept. 25: Nonnewaug, W 6-0, forfeit
Oct. 3: Old Saybrook/Westbrook, W 35-7

Now, Falcons can focus on stopping speedy Cromwell

Avon Football Online
AVON, Oct. 4 – Now, the anticipation can begin and the eyes of the Avon High football team can focus squarely on its next opponent – defending Class S champion Cromwell.

Ever since the season began, Saturday’s home game (3:30 p.m.) against the Panthers has been the marquee contest on the schedule for the Falcons. A year ago, Avon won its second straight Pequot Uncas Division title and earned its first-ever CIAC playoff berth while Cromwell won the Pequot Sassacus title and stunned Ansonia in the Class S championship game, 14-12 to win its first state title.

Before the Falcons could worry about Cromwell, they had to take care of business and focus on their first three opponents. Avon vanquished the last of those three teams on Sunday night under the portable lights at the high school with a workmanlike 40-6 victory over Stafford/East Windsor.

Ross McDonald rushed for a team-high 118 yards and three TDs on 10 carries to lead the Falcons. Quarterback Andrew Livingstone played for the first time this season after separating his shoulder during a preseason game with Simsbury. Avon controlled the contest against Stafford but when the running game bogged down, Livingstone’s passing was able to make things happen.

Livingstone completed 7-of-9 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns. Vince Savarese grabbed a 40-yard TD reception while Dave Doebler pulled in a 16-yard scoring strike.

A year ago, Livingstone took over at QB at midseason when David Wyrick was injured. He completed 42-of-69 passes for 704 yards and 7 TDs. His ability to throw gives the Falcons a weapon that many Pequot Conference teams lack. Vince Savarese (10 receptions, 254 yards, 2 TDs) is Avon’s top receiver after three games while all-around star Tyler D’Onofrio has 5 receptions for 61 yards and a TD.

McDonald leads the Falcons ground game with 528 yards and 8 TDs on 44 carries.

While Avon (3-0, 3-0 Pequot Uncas) was challenged by Coventry/Windham Tech for one half in its 44-29 season-opening victory they haven’t been pushed much in the past two weeks by either Wolcott Tech or Stafford, outscoring the two squads by a 89-12 margin.

On Saturday, Avon will face a Cromwell team with speed in its offensive backfield and on defense within its linebacker corps.

“They’re extremely talented,” Avon coach Brett Quinion said. “They have a lot of speed. Their linebackers are very quick and they have an All-State quarterback (Bobby Jordan). We have a lot of respect for them.”

Jordan was the MVP of the Class S championship game against Ansonia last December, rushing for a game-high 123 yards on 14 yards against the Chargers. Most of the Cromwell defense returns and those defenders twice stopped Ansonia on fourth down in the title game.

Cromwell (3-0, 3-0 Pequot Sassacus) hasn’t been pushed yet this season, either. They beat Haddam-Killingworth in its first game, 30-0, and picked up a forfeit victory over Nonnewaug, which folded its varsity team due to a lack of players.

In a 35-7 win over Old Saybrook on Friday, the Panthers had 350 yards of offense, 229 on the ground and 121 in the air from Jordan (8-of-13). Carlton Forbes ran for 81 yards and 3 TDs on eight carries. The Panthers are ranked in the top 10 of all three state football polls.

A year ago, Avon was able to move the ball against Cromwell but couldn’t convert in a 21-0 loss. So, will Avon be able to slow down the Panthers? Can the Falcons score enough to keep pace with Cromwell?

The questions will be answered on Saturday. Game time is 3:30 p.m.