This page was last updated on: October 28, 2002

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Avon High varsity football
First  season 1960
Avon Football Online
Avon, Connecticut
The Herald Press
AVON, October 26, 2002 -- Avon turned three Middletown mistakes into touchdowns and stunned the undermanned Blue Dragons 18-13 in a Nutmeg League game Saturday afternoon.

A fumble on the 6-yard line, an interception and a 7-yard punt all were turned into scores as Avon beat Middletown for the first time since Middletown's two high schools merged into one in 1984.

"This is a huge win for our program," said Avon coach Tim Feshler. "The win came at a great time, the kids really needed to win a game."
Avon 18, Middletown 16
Middletown     6 7 0 0  -- 13
Avon               6 6 0 6  -- 18
First quarter
A: Joe Friedhoff 4 run (run failed) , 7:13.
M: Vincent Jordan 6 run (kick failed) , 3:17.
Second quarter
M:Catrell Simmons 19 run (Seb Fazzino kick), 6:54.
A: Max Martinez 37 interception return (kick failed) , 1:20.
Fourth quarter
A: Friedhoff 1 run (pass failed), 6:21.
Individual statistics
Rushing: Middletown: Hamp Watson 13-48, Corey Wright 12-56, Jordan 13032,
Simmons 4-6. Total: 42-142; Avon: Friedhoff 16-42, Ben Lerer 9-15, A.J. Brown
2-2. Total: 27-59.
Passing: Middletown: Jordan 2-9-3, 5.; Avon: Lerer 8-15-1, 55.
Receiving: Middletown: Simmons 1-8, Wright 1-(-3). Avon: Friedhoff 4-34, Danny
Jamieson 3-11, Martinez 1-10.
Records: MHS 4-3, Avon 1-5.

Five turnovers help Avon top Middletown for 1st victory
Middletown, a big favorite going in, was hamstrung by suspensions of three two-way starters Saturday morning. Running back/linebacker Johnny Moran, offensive and defensive lineman Keith Cofield, and receiver/kick returner/defensive back C.J. Collins were all suspended for violations of unspecified team rules according to Middletown coach Eric Marszalek.

"Let's just say they didn't do the right things," said Marszalek. "Because I suspended those players we were unable to do any of the things we had game-planned all during the week. We had a limited number of plays we could use and this morning we had to put players into positions they weren't used to. It's unfortunate we couldn't win for the kids who did play because they played very hard."

Middletown had five turnovers. Not only did three lead directly to Avon scores, one came when MHS fumbled on the Avon 1-yard line killing a chance for a score.

"The turnovers were big," said Marszalek. "The interception return got them right back in the game and a fumble when you're about to score is always a big momentum changer."

Avon took a 6-0 first quarter lead that was set up when Hamp Watson fumbled on the Falcons' 6-yard line. Two plays later Joe Friedoff ran four yards for the touchdown with 7:13 left in the quarter. Sparked by Vincent Jordan's 50-yard kickoff return to the Avon 26, MHS tied the game six plays later when Jordan ran around his right end from six yards out.

Middletown (4-3) got the ball right back when Avon fumbled the kickoff and moved from the 31 to the 1-yard line in just three plays. But Jordan fumbled on a keeper on the next play and the chance to take a quick lead vanished.

The Blue Dragons did take the lead in the second quarter as they marched 64 yards in eight plays with Catrell Simmons running 19 yards on an end around play. With Seb Fazzino's kick, MHS led 13-6 with 6:54 left in the half.

The MHS defense, which played well all day holding Avon to a total of 114 yards, had nothing to do with the next score. After forcing a punt with a minute and a half left, Jordan's first down pass was picked off in the right flat at the 37-yard line by Max Martinez and all he had to do was not fall down in the mud to score. He didn't and Avon trailed by just 13-12 at the half despite having just 53 yards offense.

Neither team threatened in the third quarter and that was significant.

"They kept us in the middle of the field in the second half," said Marszalek. "And we weren't able to sustain anything." The break of the day came with eight minutes left in the game.

With Jordan nursing a cramp, Marszalek sent in Cole McDaniel to punt. McDaniel, who didn't play save for the punt because of a shoulder injury, had an Avon player get a hand on the ball and the result was a 7-yard popup that gave the Falcons the ball on the 24-yard line.

Four plays later Friedoff scored from a yard out. MHS got the ball with 6:21 left and put together a 10 play drive which ended with Jordan throwing a fourth down incompletion from the Avon 39 with 40 seconds showing.

With both McDaniel and Moran out, Marszalek went to backs Corey Wright (12 carries, 56 yards) and Watson (13 carries, 48 yards). Middletown wound up with 142 yards on the ground, but only five yards passing as Jordan was just 2-for-9 with three interceptions.

"I was especially proud of Corey who hasn't played much
in two weeks but stuck with it and played very well today," said Marszalek. It would have been nice to get a win for him because he really stepped up."