July 31, 2014

Elyria
Clear
61°F
test

Kyle Kuhar’s big play on both sides of the ball have Avon Lake rolling

At 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, junior Kyle Kuhar certainly has the size of a tight end or defensive end.

Guess what? He quietly does both and does both very well for this year’s Avon Lake football team.

“He’s a quiet kid, but has nice size,” Avon Lake coach Dave Dlugosz said. “He started last year as a sophomore. He’s caught only nine passes, but four have been touchdowns and I know a couple others were for key first downs.

“At Avon Lake, the running game depends on our fullback and tight end. Kyle does a tremendous job blocking and getting down field. He’s physical and gets the job done.

“On defense, he’s got good quickness and pursues to the ball. He has 11 sacks.”

Take a close look at Avon Lake’s season and Kuhar shows up in the highlights all over the place. His 7-yard touchdown reception from quarterback David Winkel gave the Shoremen the lead in the season-opener against Avon.

Against Lorain, he racked up three sacks and scored on a 29-yarder from Winkel.

“I try to make the most of my catches,” Kuhar said.

Against Massillon Jackson, he trapped and tackled the punter for a safety after a bad snap wound up in Jackson’s end zone, and against Midpark he recovered a fumble to set up a key Avon Lake scoring drive.

“Our defense has been playing with more intensity after the Westlake game (a 28-21 loss that cost Avon Lake the outright Southwestern Conference title),” Kuhar said. “The coaches have us playing harder in practice. It’s been a lot more intense. We didn’t like what happened in either the Jackson game (an overtime loss) or the Westlake game.”

He caught his longest touchdown reception in the Berea game, a 53-yarder. He also had a 2-point conversion and a sack against the Braves.

In the Brecksville game that earned a tie with the Demons for the SWC title, Kuhar caught a key first-down pass that led to a 27-yard field goal by Alex Voloshen, and he caught the game-tying touchdown pass against Olmsted Falls for 43 yards.

“I know I have to come up with key blocks,” Kuhar said. “Our 46-down and 46-counter and the 48-reach are plays I have to make blocks and seal things off. When my number is called, I’m ready and excited. Like I said, I want to make the most of my opportunities. I love playing both ways.”

Kuhar knows the challenge at unbeaten Toledo Whitmer, one of the top-ranked Division I schools in the state.

“I think if we play well and execute our plays, we’ll be OK,” he said. “We have to get some turnovers and not make mistakes. We’re young and getting a lot of valuable experience. We’ll be even better next year.”

Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or timothygeb@msn.com.