AVON – With the wind whipping, it didn’t look like a kick that could clear the crossbar.
With 22 seconds left, Fishers placekicker Alex Sahakian cut a 47-yard boot through the stiff breeze for his second game-winner in as many weeks as the Tigers took a 26-25 victory over Avon Friday night.
“It’s always a team win, but Alex has had a lot of pressure on him the last two weeks to help us win the game, and he’s done it,” said Fishers coach Rick Wimmer, whose kicker beat Westfield in a third overtime last week. “I simply had more confidence in him making it than I did us getting a first down.”
Sahakian’s kick came on fourth-and-10 at Avon’s 29-yard line, after Oriole kicker Nyles Edwards had given his team a two-point lead with just over two minutes remaining.
Just before the snap, Avon coach Mark Bless tried to stop it, but to no avail.
“I was out on the numbers trying to get a timeout,” Bless said. “I really wanted a timeout so we could try to scheme something to block it and give the kicker some time to think about it. The kid kicked it, hit it low and it was good.”
The two field goals in the closing minutes capped a wild second half of scoring after the teams went to halftime with Fishers up, 10-9.
On the first play of the second half, Avon quarterback Brandon Peters hit Cress Kimbrough in stride for an 80-yard touchdown.
Andrew Griffin then intercepted Connor Christiansen inside the Fishers 40, but a seven-yard loss on a trick play killed Avon’s chance to up its lead.
After Fishers (3-1) came back with an 81-yard TD drive, Avon marched 80 yards, as Peters connected with Matt Moore for a 4-yard score and 22-17 advantage.
Rashawn Brent recovered a fumble for Avon early in the fourth quarter, but the Orioles were held to a three-and-out, and a shanked punt gave Fishers the ball at the Avon 37. Five plays later, Christensen hit J-Shun Harris for an 18-yard TD.
Avon (1-3) took the ball three series’ later with just under four minutes remaining, and drove down for Edwards’ 31-yard field goal that put the Orioles up by two.
On third-and-23 with a minute left, Christiansen hit Harris for a 19-yard gain, and Fishers got a first down on the next play. Four plays later, Sahakian nailed the clinching kick, that just dropped over the crossbar.
“Obviously there were some plays we left on the field, but I told the players I was proud of how they battled to the end,” Bless said.
Peters finished 12 of 20 passing for 186 yards and three TDs for Avon, while running back David Schall was strong on the ground with 165 yards on 21 carries.
Christiansen went 19 of 37 for 257 yards for Fishers.