B: DeLorenzo 8 pass from Hackett (Silverman kick), 6:02
A: Ross McDonald 1 run (Austin Kick kick), 1:52
B: DeLorenzo 67 run (Silverman kick), 1:43
A: McDonald 66 run (Kick kick), 1:09
A: McDonald 3 run (Kick kick), 10:35
A: McDonald 2 run (Kick kick), 3:57
RUSHING: Avon – Ross McDonald 24-149, Colin Pavano 4-8, Andrew Livingstone 4-13, Vince Savarese 1-6, Berlin – Max DeLorenzo 39-284, Dan Hackett 10-minus 20, Matt Padykula 2-8, David Campagna 3-12
PASSING: Avon – Andrew Livingstone 11-19-2, 113, Ross McDonald 0-2; Berlin – Dan Hackett 3-4-0, 27
RECEIVING: Avon – Vince Savarese 5-41, Tyler D’Onofrio 2-35, Ross McDonald 2-24, Mick Hailu 1-4, David Doebler 1-9; Berlin --- Brian Malloy 1-3, Max DeLorenzo 2-24
RETURNS: Savarese (kickoffs) 5-104, D'Onofrio (punts) 2-21; PUNTS: Smith 3-78; SACKS (1): D'Onofrio and Matt Graff 1-9
Avon 47, Canton 20
Canton (6-4) 6 0 0 14 – 20
Avon (10-0) 14 13 7 14 – 47
A: Vince Savarese 85 pass from Andrew Livingstone (Austin Kick kick), 11:20
A: Ross McDonald 21 run (Kick kick), 8:13
C: Mike Fraser 5 run (pass fails), 1:04
A: Savarese 3 pass from Livingstone (kick blocked), 6:49
A: Savarese 5 pass from Livingstone (Kick kick), 1:35
A: McDonald 4 run (Kick kick), 2:49
C: Nick Grabowski 4 run (pass fails), 9:27
A: Colin Pavano 9 run (Kick kick), 6:51
A: McDonald 55 run (Kick kick), 2:01
C: Richard Jones 56 pass from Grabowski (Greg Cole run), 0:09
RUSHING: Canton -- Nick Grabowski 13-82, Mike Fraser 18-49, Greg Cole 9-22, Sam Hartzell 1-2, Rich Jones 1-0; Avon -- Ross McDonald 23-275, Colin Pavano 8-80, Andrew Livingstone 5-28, Pat Lesczynski 1-minus 8
PASSING: Canton -- Grabowski 10-19-1, 117; Cole 0-2, Hartzell 1-1-0, 34; Andrew Livingstone 7-13-0, 131
RECEIVING: Avon -- Vince Savarese 5-115; Tyler D'Onofrio 2-11; Canton -- Rich Jones 6-84; Tyler Plourd 5-74
A: Vince Savarese 92 pass from John Cianci (Kick kick)
A: Sean Smith 18 run (Kick kick)
A: McDonald 62 run (Kick kick)
A: Colin Moore 7 run (Kick kick)
W: Nick Reardon 83 run (run fails)
A: Kyle Brady 54 run (Kick kick)
RUSHING: Avon -- Ross McDonald 6-177, Colin Moore 15-57, Sean Smith 4-42, Kyle Brady 8-81, Pat Leszczynski 2-2, Dave Doebler 1-25, Bobby Dully 4-2; Wolcott Tech -- Stephen Oates 3-2, Matt Archer 7-19, Tom Notchick 3-11, Devon Coles 1-3, Isiah Harrington 16-34, Jacob Nadeau 4-6, Nick Reardon 1-83
PASSING: Avon -- John Cianci 2-3-0, 132; Wolcott Tech -- Stephen Oates 1-1-0, 13; Tom Notchick 7-10-0, 99
RECEIVING: Avon -- Vince Savarese 2-132; Wolcott Tech -- Nick Schibi 3-33, Ramon Cruz 1-13, Seth Beechinor 2-20, Patrick Higgins 1-45
RETURNS: Avon -- Ryan Jordan 1-15 (kickoff); Kyle Brady 1-20 (kickoff), Vince Savarese 1-14 (punt)
SACKS: Chris Rogers (A) 0.5, Dom Nistal (A) 0.5
FUMBLE RECOVERY: Chris Rogers (A), June Shin (A), Kevin Bae (A), Kyle Brady (A), Will Shiffrin (A)
NEW HAVEN, Jan. 1 – Avon junior Ross McDonald was selected to join a unique fraternity of athletes when he was named to the 2009 New Haven Register All-State football team. McDonald was one of three running backs named to the team, a big honor considering he was named as the utility player on the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) Class M team.
McDonald is just the fourth Avon player ever named to the Register’s All-State team, which has just one offensive and defensive team. Dennis Daly and Bill Loeffler were honored by the Register in 1967 while Jeff Burrows was named All-State in 1963. Daly, Loeffler and Burrows were named to Class B/C teams. The Register chose multiple teams in those seasons. The Register has been naming an All-State football teams since 1932.
AVON, Dec. 27 – What a decade of football it has been for Avon High – three Pequot Uncas Division championships, two CIAC Class M playoff berths, three straight seasons of nine wins or more and the most wins (28) in a three-year period in the team’s 50-year history. We’re going to take a look at some of the memorable games of this past decade this week. Our countdown begins now:
10. 2006 -- Avon 21, Stafford/East Windsor 14, OT. Only OT game in program history.
9. 2008 – Avon 48, Ellington 20. Falcons take charge in Uncas race.
8. 2008 – Avon 21, Tolland 13: Ross McDonald scores late in hard-fought battle.
7. 2009 – Berlin 35, Avon 28: Down 28-0, the Falcons have the ball on Berlin’s 44 with 1:30 left and a chance to tie.
6. 2005 – Avon 21, Farmington 20: In Nutmeg finale, Falcons stand tall in tight victory.
5. 2003 – Avon 25, Farmington 14: With just 16 players participating, Falcons upset Farmington (7-3)
4. 2008 – Brookfield 36, Avon 19: Falcons prove they can play with the big boys, force 6 turnovers, lead by five at the half.
3. 2007 – Avon 13, Ellington 6: Falcons clinch first title in 14 years with victory.
2. 2007 – Avon 21, Tolland 14: Kyle Livingstone scores on 28-yard TD pass from David Wyrick with 9 seconds left.
1. 2009 – Avon 37, Cromwell 31: Avon scores 2 TDs in final 1:15 including 57-yard TD run on last play to beat defending Class S champions
AVON, Dec. 15 – For just the third time in 50 years of Avon High football, two players have been selected to the All-State team in the same season. Junior running back Ross McDonald and senior placekicker and defensive back Austin Kick were voted onto the Connecticut High School Coaches Association’s Class M team by the state coaches.
McDonald roared through the Avon record book as he helped the Falcons to the second undefeated regular season (10-0) in school history, a third straight Pequot Uncas championship and a second straight berth in the CIAC Class M playoffs.
McDonald finished the season school records for rushing yards in a season (1,974), touchdowns (35) and points scored (214). He set a new single game rushing record against Canton (275 yards) and tied a school record with five TDs against Enfield. Ross made the team as a utility player.
Kick converted on 44 extra point attempts and hit four field goals, setting a new standard for kickers with 60 points. He had a single-game record for kickers with 11 points against Windsor Locks. He hit field goals from 20, 22, 25 and 32 yards this season. Avon had two players on the All-State team in 2007 and 1967.
Ten Falcons named All-Pequot after 10-0 season
AVON, Dec. 15 – Ten Avon High players were named to the All-Pequot Conference team in balloting by the league coaches. The Falcons went 10-0 in the regular season and 8-0 in the Pequot Uncas Division, winning their third straight division title.
On defense, junior defensive back Tyler D’Onofrio, senior outside linebacker Dan Matthews and senior defensive tackle Mike Burton were named to the first team. On offense, seven Falcons were honored including QB Andrew Livingstone, junior RB Ross McDonald, senior WR Vince Savarese, senior center Chris Rogers, senior lineman Sonny Portelance, senior kicker Austin Kick and junior utility player Colin Pavano.
Honorable mention went to Matt Graff, Clint Wallburg and Rhys Stockwell.
Another receiving record for Savarese
AVON, Dec. 9 -- The Falcons set another single season record this fall. With five receptions in the Class M semifinal loss to Berlin, Vince Savarese caught a record 34 passes breaking the record of 32 set by Andy Roell in 2007 and Jim King in 1986. Savarese also set a new single season record for most yards receiving at 670.
WATERBURY, Dec. 6 – It turns out that few teams could stop Berlin’s Max DeLorenzo. Just five days after setting new school records for rushing yards (284) and attempts (39) in a seven-point victory over Avon in the semifinals, DeLorenzo ran for a school-record 332 yards on 44 carries and scored 4 TDs to lead Berlin to its first-ever state championship with a dominant 49-6 win over Bethel in the Class M championship game.
BRISTOL, Dec. 1 – Berlin’s Max DeLorenzo rushed for a game-high 284 yards on 39 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead Berlin to a 35-28 victory over Avon in a Class M semifinal game at Muzzy Field in Bristol.
Berlin took advantage of two turnovers by the Falcons in the second quarter to help build a 35-7 lead. Leading 14-0, Berlin’s Zach Parsons scooped up a Ross McDonald fumble and rambled 50 yards with 10:40 left in the second quarter. On Avon’s next offensive play, Berlin’s Zach Zulkiewicz stripped the ball from Avon QB Andrew Livingstone and Berlin’s Geoff Dansro recovered.
Ten plays later, Berlin took a 28-0 lead when QB Dan Hackett found DeLorenzo wide open in the end zone with 6:02 remaining.
Avon (10-1) got on the scoreboard when Ross McDonald (24-149) scored from the one with 1:52 left in the second quarter but Berlin responded immediately when DeLorenzo scored on a 67-yard run for a 35-7 lead.
McDonald scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter as Avon cut the lead to seven, 35-28. Avon stopped Berlin on a fourth-and-two play on the Redcoats 44-yard line with 1:50 remaining in the game to get the ball back. But Berlin’s Sean Roche intercepted a Livingstone pass with 1:17 remaining to seal the victory.
AVON, Nov. 28 – An old rivalry will be reborn in Tuesday’s Class M semifinals when undefeated Avon (10-0) hosts Berlin (8-2) at Muzzy Field in Bristol at 6:30 p.m. The two teams were members of the Northwest Conference and Nutmeg Conference for years, playing 38 games.
The two teams haven’t faced each other since 2003. This time, a berth in the Class M championship game will be on the line. The winner will face either New London or Bethel on Saturday, Dec. 5.
AVON, Nov. 24 – Upon further review of his performance against Canton, Avon's Ross McDonald rushed for a school record 275 yards and 3 TDs on 23 carries Saturday. Coach Brett Quinion reviewed the videotape from the game twice this week to confirm McDonald's performance. Initial totals from Avon's statistician and Avon Football Online had two different rushing numbers for McDonald so Quinion went to the videotape.
McDonald's performance breaks the single game rushing record of 269 yards that he held with Mike D'Onofrio. McDonald ran for 269 on Nov. 7 against Enfield. He now has a school record 1,825 yards rushing on the year.
Avon to host semifinal game at Muzzy Field
AVON, Nov. 23 – Avon will host its first-ever CIAC playoff home game at Muzzy Field in Bristol on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Avon (10-0) completed the second undefeated regular season in school history on Saturday with a 47-20 win over Canton and clinched at least the No. 2 spot in the CIAC Class M tournament. The Falcons could be the top seed if favored and undefeated New London loses to NFA on Thanksgiving. However, Avon will likely play old Northwest Conference and Nutmeg League rival Berlin in one semifinal. The championship game will be Saturday, Dec. 5.
Avon is hosting the game at Muzzy Field because they don’t have lights at Avon nor a suitable press box facility. The CIAC has minimum requirements for hosting a state playoff game.
A perfect 10
Falcons handle Canton to complete regular season at 10-0
AVON, Nov. 21 – The existence of the CIAC playoffs can overshadow outstanding achievements. The Falcons clinched their second straight berth in the Class M tournament a week ago and will face old Northwest Conference rival Berlin on Tuesday, Dec. 1 in the semifinals at a site and time to be announced.
On Saturday, Avon completed a remarkable regular season with a 47-20 victory over Canton. For just the second time in school history, the Falcons (10-0, 8-0 Pequot Uncas) went undefeated. The only other time was in 1967 when Avon was 8-0. Seven times, they have finished with one loss.
“Today is all about the regular season,” Avon coach Brett Quinion said. “This is a tremendous accomplishment. It’s a tremendous group of kids, very high character.” Ross McDonald ran for a game-high 275 yards and 3 TDs on 23 carries while receiver Vince Savarese pulled down five passes for 115 yards and 3 TDs.
McDonald extended his own single-season rushing record to 1,825 yards while Savarese broke the school record for most yards receiving in a season with 629 yards on 29 receptions, breaking the mark set by Andy Roell in 2007 of 603 yards. Avon’s seventh game over 40 points enabled the Falcons to break the school for most points in the regular season. Avon has scored 412 points, which breaks the record of 400 set a year ago.
With 5 extra points, Austin Kick set a new record for most points in a season by a kicker. He has hit 44 extra points and 4 field goals for 56 points, breaking the record of 53 set a year ago by David Wyrick.
“What a fitting way to finish an unblemished season,” Quinion said. “We were extremely sharp offensively and executed very well.” Avon has won 10 straight games, one shy of the school record set in 1966-67.
Falcons clinch Class M playoff bid
Avon shuts out Ellington to win Uncas crown
ELLINGTON, Nov. 14 – In the rain, Avon clinched its third straight Pequot Uncas Division championship and a spot in the CIAC Class M tournament for the second straight year with a 21-0 shutout over Ellington.
The Falcons (9-0, 7-0 Pequot Uncas) will finish the regular season on Saturday when they host Canton at 1 p.m. at the high school. The Class M semifinals will be Tuesday, Dec. 1 with the championship game on Saturday, Dec. 5.
Junior Ross McDonald (18-136) continued his assault on the Avon football record book with two TDs. McDonald has scored a school-record 28 TDs this year and has scored a school-record 172 points. Mike D'Onofrio held the old record of 24 TDs and 144 points, set a year ago.
QB Andrew Livingstone completed 7-of-14 passes for 96 yards. Tyler D’Onofrio and Vince Savarese each had an interception for the Falcons, who pitched their second shutout of the season.
“We played a solid game,” Avon coach Brett Quinion said. “It was a difficult field to play on, with the rain and wind. We tried to be patient offensively, not turn the ball over and trust our defense.
“I am proud of our defense,” he added “We had a fine goal line stand near the end of the first half. It inspired us going forward into the second half and the defense continued to be stout.”
Avon has won its last 26 Pequot Uncas games dating back to 2006. Three straight division Pequot Uncas titles is impressive and new ground for the Falcons. Avon won seven straight NCCC titles from 1987-93 but only had to win three games a year to claim those banners. They won four Northwest Conference titles but never in succession. Before last season, Avon had never earned a spot in the CIAC playoffs.
“I believe that we as a team are better than the sum of all of our players,” Quinion said. “I keep hearing every week how we have this weakness or that weakness and how we are not that good. This team leans on each other and is a team in every sense of the word. Every week, someone different leads us. Today, it was Dan Matthews, June Shin, Tyler D'Onofrio, Mike Jung, Vince Savarese, Alex Hodgson and a slew of other players that make up our defense.”
The victory was the ninth straight for Avon, which last won nine in a row in 2007. The school record is 11 in a row from 1966-67.
McDonald ties 3 school records in win over Enfield
AVON, Nov. 7 – Avon RB Ross McDonald tied three single game school records as Avon (8-0) remained undefeated with a 51-12 win over Enfield. McDonald tied school records for most yards rushing in game (269), most TDs scored in a game (5) and longest TD run (99 yards). McDonald scored Avon’s first three TDs as the Falcons build a 20-0 lead.
It took a while for Avon to get its feet on the ground and get its running game in order. The Falcons dropped three interceptions and weren’t sharp on special teams. “In order to compete with the New London and Berlin’s of the world, we have to be better than we were today,” Avon coach Brett Quinion said. Avon could face New London or Berlin in the CIAC Class M playoffs that begin on Dec. 1.
McDonald tied the single-game rushing record set a year ago by Mike D’Onofrio against Stafford. He also tied D’Onofrio’s record of five TDs in a game, set in 2007 against Canton. McDonald’s 99-yard TD run in the fourth quarter ties the record first set by Larry Locke, who rambled for 99 yards and a TD against Windsor Locks in 1993.
The 99-yard TD run was supposed to go inside. “But it got pretty clogged up,” McDonald said. “I bounced it outside and there was a huge hole on the outside.” Colin Pavano played well and rushed for 122 yards and a TD on 13 carries.
Avon (7-0) is currently seeded No. 2 in Class M
AVON, Nov. 4 – With three games left in the regular season, the Falcons (7-0) are the No. 2 seed in the CIAC’s Class M rankings. The top four teams at the end of the season qualify for the CIAC playoffs. The semifinals will be Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the sites of the top two seeds. The championship game will be on Saturday, Dec. 5. If Avon wins its final three games, they will qualify for the second year in a row.
Undefeated Avon overwhelms visiting Raiders
AVON, Oct. 31 – Ross McDonald ran for 100 yards and four TDs on eight carries to lead the undefeated Falcons (7-0) past an undermanned Windsor Locks/Suffield squad, 47-6. The visiting Raiders dressed only 16 players because they suspended seven starters for violating team rules. Avon’s Austin Kick converted on five of six extra point attempts and made two field goals from 25 and 32 yards. QB Andrew Livingstone completed 3-of-3 passes for 57 yards and a TD. Vince Savarese caught two passes for 55 yards.
Simsbury tops Knights
for first time since 1971
SOUTHINGTON, Oct. 30 – It was appropriate that the Simsbury High football team pulled another skeleton from their closet the day before Halloween. On Friday night, Simsbury overcame two early turnovers and two first quarter scores by Southington to put up 22 points in the second quarter and beat the Blue Knights for the time since 1971 with a 29-26 victory.
FALLS VILLAGE, Oct. 24 – Junior running back Ross McDonald scored four touchdowns and became the sixth Falcon in the last seven years to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a single season in Avon’s dominating 49-0 win over Housatonic/Wamogo on Saturday. McDonald rushed for 198 yards on 15 carries Saturday in the steady rain along the scenic Housatonic River and now has 1,041 yards and a team-leading 17 TDs for the season.
The undefeated Falcons (6-0) rushed for 345 yards and seven TDs. Placekicker Austin Kick was a perfect 7-for-7 in extra points in challenging conditions. Kyle Brady scored two TDs for Avon while Colin Pavano had one TD and 62 yards rushing.
New Britain surges in 4th to hand Simsbury 1st loss
SIMSBURY, Oct. 23 -- New Britain scored 20 points in the fourth quarter including two TDs in the final 2:47 to break open a one-point contest and hand No. 10 Simsbury its first loss of the season Friday night, 40-25 at the high school.
McDonald runs for 2 TDs, Livingstone throws 2 TD passes
WINSTED, Oct. 16 -- Ross McDonald scored 2 TDs and ran for 109 yards as Avon prevailed under the lights at Van Why Field with a 27-7 victory over Gilbert/Northwestern. QB Andrew Livingstone threw a pair of TD passes. Avon improved to 5-0.
On its first possession, the Falcons marched 81 yards on 14 plays, scoring on McDonald’s 3-yard run to take a 7-0 lead. Avon made it 14-0 on a short seven-play drive of 35 yards following an interception. David Doebler pulled in a 17-yard pass from Livingstone.
Late in the second period, Gilbert drove to the Avon 28-yard line but the drive ended with a Falcon interception. Avon made it 21-0 on a three-yard TD pass from Livingstone (11-of-18, 148 yards) to Tyler D’Onofrio (6-43). The Yellowjackets had stopped the drive with an interception by Casey Ramthun but that was nullified by a roughing the passer penalty.
AVON, Oct. 10 – They’ve been playing football for 50 years in Avon and there probably haven’t been many games like this. Facing defending Class S champion Cromwell, the Falcons scored two touchdowns in the final 1:15 including the game-winning score, a 57-yard run from Ross McDonald with no time left in regulation to earn a thrilling 37-31 victory.
The Falcons (4-0) never led until the final gun. But they tied the game four times, including on a 64-yard touchdown pass to Vince Savarese from QB Andrew Livingstone with 56 seconds left in the fourth quarter. McDonald finished with 208 yards and 3 TDs on 26 carries. He also threw a 56-yard TD pass to Tyler D’Onofrio in the third quarter. “Cromwell didn’t make errors. We made plays,” Avon coach Brett Quinion said. “The kids decided this game.”
AVON, Oct. 6 – The Falcons can finally turn their eyes to preparing for its biggest game to date this season – a contest with No. 9 Cromwell, the defending Class S champion, on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Avon High. The contest pits two undefeated teams that have captured their respective divisions of the Pequot Conference for the past two seasons. The Panthers captured their first Class S state championship last December with a stunning 14-12 win over Ansonia and the game MVP, Bobby Jordan, returns as QB for Cromwell.
Click on the following link for more on Saturday's big game.
AVON, Oct. 4 – Ross McDonald rushed for a team-high 118 yards and three TDs on 10 carries to lead undefeated Avon (3-0, 3-0 Pequot Uncas) past Stafford/East Windsor, 40-6 under the lights at Avon High. The Falcons controlled the game on the ground but when things got slow QB Andrew Livingstone was able to make things happen.
Playing in his first game of the season after separating his shoulder during a preseason game with Simsbury, Livingstone completed 7-of-9 passes for 131 yards and 2 TDs. Livingstone took over at mid-season a year ago when David Wyrick was injured and led the Falcons to their second straight Pequot Conference Uncas Division title and a berth in the Class M semifinals.
Vince Savarese caught 4 passes for 82 yards and had an interception on defense. Now, the Falcons can prepare for Saturday’s showdown with defending Class S champion Cromwell in Avon at 3:30 p.m. The Panthers (3-0) are ranked in the top 10 of all three state football polls. ... The Falcons are 11-5 under the lights at home, including four straight victories.
Game moved to Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m.
AVON, Oct. 3 -- Due to rain, Avon's home opener vs. Stafford/East Windsor has been moved to Sunday evening beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Avon High.
TD run a moment that will live forever
HARTFORD, Sept. 30 -- The story of Wolcott Tech's Nick Reardon and his TD run against Avon was the subject of Jeff Jacob's column Wednesday in the Hartford Courant. Reardon's mother, Lisa, told Avon coach Brett Quinion, "I thanked him for giving us a moment that will live forever." Quinion told Courant columnist Jeff Jacobs. "This wasn't planned. The game was in hand. It just felt right at that moment. I figured if we can lift Nick's ...spirits and hopes a little, he'll have more energy to fight the fight. He's going to need that spirit, that will, that energy."
TORRINGTON, Sept. 26 – Senior receiver Vince Savarese set a new school record on Saturday against Wolcott Tech scoring on a 92-yard touchdown pass from QB John Cianci to give Avon a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
Savarese broke the previous record set 31 years ago in 1978 when Brian Gemme scored on a 77-yard TD pass from John Gorman against Gilbert. Receiver Bob Spalla scored on a 76-yard TD pass from QB Barry Shelly against Berlin in 1969. Savarese finished the contest with two receptions for 121 yards. The Falcons rushed for 395 yards in the game and recovered five fumbles against Wolcott Tech.
Falcons display compassion in dominating win
TORRINGTON, Sept. 26 – In the first-ever meeting between Avon and Wolcott Tech in football, the Falcons easily rolled to a 49-6 victory. Receiver Vince Savarese set a new school record with a 92-yard touchdown pass from John Cianci.
But the most memorable part of this game was a 83-yard touchdown run by Wolcott Tech senior Nick Reardon, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer last week and begins chemotherapy treatments on Monday. Doctors allowed Reardon, Tech’s punter and a linebacker, to play one final game but said he couldn’t get hit. Tech coach Jaime Coty hoped to get Reardon into the game for an uncontested punt.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Avon coach Brett Quinion called timeout and walked across the field to speak with Coty. “He said, ‘Let’s get him a touchdown,” Coty told the Waterbury Republican American.
On second down and 9 from the Wolcott Tech 18, Reardon took the handoff, ran up the middle and down the right sideline. His teammates mobbed him in the end zone. “The Avon players were chasing Nick down the field,” Coty told the Republican American. “I can’t put into words what that did for Nick, his family and our football program.” It was the final football game of Reardon’s career, who is 17. Quinion told The Register Citizen, “It’s our pleasure. It’s awful what the kid’s going through.”
Avon wasn’t challenged by the Wildcats, scoring 28 points in the first quarter. Six different players scored touchdowns for the Falcons, including Pat Leszcynski, who rushed for 178 yards and 2 TDs on six carries. Kyle Brady had 138 yards rushing on 15 carries with a TD. Colin Moore and Sean Smith scored their first varsity touchdowns while Austin Kick converted on all seven extra points he attempted. The Falcons rushed for 395 yards in the game.
COVENTRY, Sept. 18 – Junior running back Ross McDonald rushed for 3 TDs and a career-high 233 yards to lead the Falcons to a season-opening victory over Coventry/Windham Tech, 44-29 on Friday night. The Falcons rallied from a 21-13 deficit with 31 unanswered points in the second half to earn its first opening day victory since 2004.
Tyler D’Onofrio scored the game’s first TD, with a school record 45-yard fumble return. The old mark for fumble recovery for a TD, which was 42 yards by Kevin Bourque against Foran-Milford in 1983. D’Onofrio also caught a 5-yard TD pass from McDonald.
In the first night game ever at Coventry, the Patriots led by eight at halftime, 21-13. But McDonald had a 57-yard TD run on the first play of the third quarter and then the Falcons recovered a Patriot fumble at the Coventry 17, scoring six plays later when McDonald completed a 5-yard pass to D'Onofrio.
Justin Gillette (15-124 rushing) led the Patriots while Stephen Trottier caught 4 passes for 82 yards.
COVENTRY, Sept. 17 – Avon opens its 50th season of varsity football on Friday night when they travel to Coventry to face the Patriots co-op team. The Falcons are looking for its first win on Opening Day since 2004.
Coventry/Windham Tech (5-6, 4-4 Pequot Uncas) return several skill position players including senior RB Justin Gillette (7 TDs) and senior WR Steve Trottier (4 TDs). Sophomore QB Mike Fahey takes the helm of the Patriots. A year ago, Avon whipped the Patriots, 40-7 at the high school.
Opening day milestones
Biggest win: '76, Avon 42, Pomperaug 0
Last win: 2004, Avon 28, Wright Tech 0
Biggest defeat: 1999, Windsor 40, Avon 0
Falcons seek 3rd straight Uncas Division title
AVON, Sept. 6 – Despite the loss of 11 seniors who filled 14 starting positions, the Falcons (9-3, 8-0 Pequot Uncas) are probably the favorites to win a third straight Uncas Division championship with the return of some veteran performers. Running back Ross McDonald (99-801 rushing, 13 TDs) returns along with QB Andrew Livingstone (42-69-3, 704 yards, 7 TDs). All-Pequot G Sonny Portelance and Chris Rogers return and should anchor the offensive and defensive lines. All-Pequot Tyler D’Onofrio (9-165) returns at receiver along with DB and receiver Vince Savarese (10-226, 2 TDs).
The loss of two-time All-State running back Mike D’Onofrio, QB/DB David Wyrick and top receiver T.J. Stolzenberg will hurt but over 100 players are in the program, a testament to the success of the team the past two years -- 18 wins, 4 losses, 2 division titles and the first CIAC playoff appearance in school history.
Ellington/Somers looks to be the top challenger in the Uncas Division but it is hard to gauge where teams are at this point of the preseason. Tolland left the league for the Central Connecticut Conference. Avon will get a good stiff test when they host two-time Pequot Sassacus champion Cromwell at home on Oct. 10.