AVON — Three years of frustration boiled over on top of the Avon Orioles in last night’s sectional final against the visiting Pike Red Devils. Avon looked to knock Pike from postseason play for the fourth consecutive year, but the Red Devils had other ideas.
Jumping on top of Avon early and keeping their intensity for the entire game, Pike ran away with a 55-24 victory and the sectional title.
“They were pretty excited,” Pike coach Derek Moyers said of his team’s attitude coming into the game. “To get beat the last three years by three points, two times on the last play of the game, we didn’t have to get them too fired up. It was pretty much there.”
Penalties and miscues plagued Avon all night and they came at crucial times in the contest.
“I’m sure there was some frustration that set in and a few plays that we lost our poise,” Avon coach Mark Bless said. “It’s something we’d talked about all season and the last couple of weeks we had done a better job in that regard.”
On Pike’s opening possession, the Orioles’ defense forced the Red Devils into a third-and-7, but a pass interference call kept the drive alive. Eight plays later, Pike quarterback Brent Lyles found Tyrez Boyd for their first of three TD strikes through the air on the night.
Pike forced Avon into three-and-outs on its next two possessions before Lyles struck again, this time on a fade route to Dominique Booth.
Avon would answer with a 10-play, 67-yard drive capped off by a 4-yard touchdown run by Derrick Tennant and the Orioles trailed 14-7 at the beginning of the second quarter.
But that would be as close as Avon would get.
Pike scored 20 unanswered points and forced Avon out of its style of play, making the Orioles play catch up.