The second half, specifically the fourth quarter, saw Avon make a furious comeback after it struggled to move the ball all night long. Zionsville only added a 30-yard field goal from Jack Grider, but Avon found the end zone on offense early in the quarter. Cole Johnson pushed his way in from a yard out with 10:16 left to cap a nine-play, 81-yard drive and he found Sam Bloom for the two-point conversion to make it 31-15.
Avon then got a few stops and made things more interesting with 2:51 left. Nolan Wulle caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Johnson and Brian Stinnett caught the conversion pass to suddenly make it 31-23.
Avon’s defense then rose to the occasion and forced a three-and-out and got the ball back and thanks to two timeouts and an incomplete pass, with only 2:35 left. The Orioles got as far as midfield before Ben Kocher intercepted a long pass by Johnson at the 10-yard line and returned it 80 yards with 59 seconds left to finally seal the game.
“I think their team found a little emotion that they didn’t have earlier in the game and they found some rhythm with some plays they didn’t run in the first half,” McWhorter said.
Avon heads to postseason play and faces off against Decatur Central at 7 p.m. this Friday at home. The Orioles could meet the Eagles again in the sectioanl finals if both teams advance through their halves of the bracket.