July 25, 2014

Elyria
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H.S. Football: Avon defense shuts down North Ridgeville as Eagles remain unbeaten

North Ridgeville's Jonah Bowden stops Avon wide receiver Paul Duesler on the carry in the second quarter Friday night at North Ridgeville. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

North Ridgeville’s Jonah Bowden stops Avon wide receiver Paul Duesler on the carry in the second quarter Friday night at North Ridgeville. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Coach Jeff Riesen had no trouble finding the reasons for North Ridgeville’s loss Friday night.

“When you’re playing a good team like Avon, you can’t afford to make mistakes and get penalties,” he said.

The Rangers did just that and the Eagles were their dominant selves in a 31-7 West Shore Conference victory.

Avon coach Mike Elder didn’t think his team was given anything.

“We earned it,” he said.

There is no disputing that, as his defense forced two turnovers deep in Rangers territory. The first came just after North Ridgeville grabbed the early momentum on an interception by Jason Lucas at the North Ridgeville 33-yard line.

On the second play from scrimmage, the Rangers’ Jacob Ruoff fumbled a handoff and Avon recovered at the 37. Three plays later, it was Avon 7-0. The key play was a 30-yard pass from Tommy Glenn to Rhys Ratino to the 5. Gerrett Choate then scored the first of his two touchdowns.

The Eagles (7-0, 4-0 WSC) added 10 more points just before halftime, as Glenn capped a 17-play, 71-yard drive with a touchdown and Eric Sumislawski added a 34-yard field goal.

North Ridgeville (3-4, 1-2) received the kickoff to start the second half, and on the first play Avon’s Michael Vargo pounced on a fumble by Lucas, the quarterback. It set up the Eagles at the Rangers 26-yard line.

Choate finished off the drive with a 7-yard run.

Choate felt a personal challenge going up against North Ridgeville’s Demario McCall.

“This whole week I’ve been trying to outdo him and then come out here and outdo him,” Choate said. “I tried my best on those two short touchdown runs. My line did amazing tonight pushing all those guys back and I was able to push myself in there.”

For McCall it was a frustrating night, as he was held to 58 yards.

“It was a big game and the whole team knew they were going to key on me, so we were going to get others involved so they couldn’t just key on me,” McCall said. “But as you saw that didn’t work.”

FAN DOWN: The biggest fan of North Ridgeville athletics was missing from the sidelines Friday night. Jim Hershey took a fall Thursday night and ended up at EMH Elyria Regional Medical Center. It was the first game he missed since 1984. Hershey can be seen at almost all sporting events.

Contact Ron Nenadal @ 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.