AVON — The Avon football team took to the field in its newly named Hendricks Regional Health Stadium Friday night.
Hendricks Regional Health and Avon Community School Corporation formed a relationship beneficial for the pair, however, the meeting on the field between Avon and Hoosier Crossroads Conference foe Westfield was anything but friendly.
Westfield handed Avon its second consecutive loss, 17-15.
“Like I told our players, everything in life happens for a reason, and there’s a reason why,” Avon coach Mark Bless said. “We need to figure out why we’re where we’re at and why we’re 0-2. We’re making strides, but we have to cut out mistakes that cost us on drives on offense.”
Westfield’s up-tempo offense caught Avon off guard from the opening play as Shamrocks quarterback Nick Ferrer hit Frank Grimes for a 77-yard gain to the Avon 3-yard line. Three plays later, Jacob Robinson crossed the goal line for a 7-0 lead.
“We’re generally pretty good starters, but we have to become a better finishing team,” Westfield coach Jake Gilbert said.
Westfield tacked on another touchdown before Avon answered.
Sophomore quarterback Brandon Peters connected with Cress Kimbrough for a 24-yard TD, and the Orioles trailed 14-6 after a missed extra point with 5:30 left in the quarter.
Westfield added a 33-yard field goal with 33.4 seconds left in the half for a 17-15 lead at the break.
“Last year in this game we had a pretty good start, but they beat us with 23 seconds left,” Gilbert said.
History almost repeated itself. Avon came on strong in the second half as Westfield had trouble mounting an offensive surge.
Avon’s defense held Westfield scoreless and gave up just under 75 yards to the Shamrocks’ offense.
“Our defensive coaches made some nice adjustments at halftime and I thought they did a nice job up front, putting pressure on the quarterback,” Bless said. “We did a much better job covering the receivers and plugging up the run.”