Avon's Chris Pepe, left, and Ryan Martin, right, sack Olmsted Falls quarterback Teddy Grendzynski on a fourth down play in the second quarter.
DAVID RICHARD / CHRONICLE Enlarge
AVON -- Southwestern Conference coaching staffs already had Avon senior Ryan Maloy’s name circled in red and bolded at the top of their defensive game plans coming into the season.
The dual-threat quarterback threw for 2,666 yards and 21 touchdowns and rushed for 837 yards and 14 TDs last season in earning All-Ohio second-team honors.
After the Eagles’ 52-14 victory over SWC top rival Olmsted Falls on Friday night, it looks like another name might have to be added to the high-priority list.
Junior running back Nick Perusek rushed for 194 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the first half -- finishing with 245 on 18 carries -- as Avon made a statement in what was expected to be one of its toughest league matchups.
“Nick’s a stud,” Maloy said. “He’s probably the fastest kid I’ve ever seen. It’s just crazy. That run he had down the sideline (for a 77-yard touchdown), I didn’t even know he was still running. I just knew he was because the crowd never stopped cheering.”
Perusek put together several big runs early in the game. The Avon offensive line opened huge holes for him to sprint through, he cut back several times for big outside gains and he often took the first few tacklers for a ride as they were unable to bring him down.
“Nick Perusek, we said was pretty special,” Avon coach Mike Elder said. “Last year he missed a chunk of the season with an injury, but he still had quite a few yards for us and ended up being our guy down the stretch. We know he’s special and he’s got a different gear. Tonight he was one of the fastest guys on the field.”
The Eagles (2-0, 1-0 SWC) finished with 350 yards on the ground, as seven other rushers added to Perusek’s total. The offensive line also did a great job with pass protection, as Maloy completed 11 of 15 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown.
“I feel like they dominated us up front, that’s the bottom line. Perusek’s a really good running back, but they kicked our butt up front,” Bulldogs coach Tom DeLuca said. “You make mistakes, you don’t beat Avon. And if you make multiple mistakes, they’re going to put it on you. To beat a team like Avon it’s gotta be four quarters and it’s gotta be mistake-free and it’s gotta be physical, because they out-physicaled us up front tonight for sure.”
Perusek’s signature play came on a sweep around the right side. The 5-foot-11, 167-pound back found a seam and separated from Olmsted Falls’ secondary. Perusek, who also runs track, even did a sprinter’s chest-out finish as he crossed the goal line.
“I wasn’t really thinking and that just kind of happened. I was just really dead at the end of that run,” he said. “I was really, this game, trying to hold onto the ball. I had two fumbles last game, so I wasn’t really expecting to break anything, but our line did a great job. They really opened up the holes, they did an amazing job. They got off their blocks and got to the linebackers and really opened it up for me.”
Maloy, who also rushed for a touchdown, took the praise for his blockers up a notch.
“The offensive line we have, I believe, is the best offensive line in the state,” he said. “Everything that they do helps us, and if they’re being consistent, holding their blocks, no penalties … then I believe we can be an extremely dominant team.”
Olmsted Falls (1-1, 0-1) took a 7-3 lead on Michael Howard’s 1-yard run, which capped a 14-play scoring drive that included a fourth-down conversion. Howard also scored late in the second quarter on a 90-yard kickoff return.
But the Bulldogs couldn’t keep up with the torrid scoring pace the Eagles stayed on throughout the game.
“We have tremendous respect for Olmsted Falls,” Elder said. “What they do presents a lot of challenges physically. We don’t beat Olmsted Falls tonight, you beat them in the offseason by doing the work in the weight room. If you don’t, they expose you.
“So I credit Olmsted Falls for making our program better.”
Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Like him on Facebook and follow him @ShaunBennettct on Twitter.
Avon 52, Olmsted Falls 14
Olmsted Falls 7 7 0 0 -- 14
Avon 10 21 14 7 -- 52
A -- Nathan Vakos, 30 field goal
OF -- Michael Howard, 1 run (Jake Politowski kick)
A -- Nick Perusek, 77 run (Vakos kick)
A -- Ryan Jones, 55 pass from Ryan Maloy (Vakos kick)
A -- Perusek, 29 run (Vakos kick)
OF -- Howard, 90 kick return (Politowski kick)
A -- Mark Steinmetz, 1 run (Vakos kick)
A -- Maloy, 3 run (Vakos kick)
A -- Devon Hunter, 1 run (Vakos kick)
A -- Mike Matlak, 4 run (Vakos kick)
First downs 6 27
-- by rushing 6 19
-- by passing 0 7
-- by penalty 0 1
Yards rushing 135 350
Yards passing 12 205
Total offense 147 555
Passes att./comp. 6/1 17/13
Intercepted by 0 1
Fumbles/lost 0/0 1/1
Penalties/yards 7/54 10/87
RUSHING — (OF) Jack Spellacy 9-57, Michael Howard 7-50, Caiden Fetterman 2-14, Teddy Grendzynski 6-8, Andrew Parkowski 2-8, Alec Wall 2-5, Kevin Eiseman 2-4, Nick Dailey 2-(-1), Sam Gray 1-(-2), Josh Andrews 1-(-3), Stephen Ellis 1-(-5). (A) Nick Perusek 18-245, Ryan Maloy 13-40, Devon Hunter 7-29, Mike Matlak 4-12, Caden Corriveau 4-10, Danny Zeh 2-7, Cole Zamborsky 1-6, Mark Steinmetz 1-1.
PASSING — (OF) Grendzynski 1-6-12-0-1. (A) Maloy 11-15-189-1-0, Zeh 2-2-16-0-0.
RECEIVING — (OF) Austin Hudak 1-12. (A) Tommy Purcell 4-64, Ryan Jones 2-59, Joey Allen 2-14, Jake Parker 1-34, Perusek 1-13, Michael Ptacek 1-10, Zamborsky 1-6, Dominick Huguley 1-5.