AVON LAKE — It looked like Turn Back The Clock night at Avon Lake Memorial Stadium on Friday.
The Shoremen ripped a page from an old Dave Dlugosz playbook and just kept handing the ball to senior running back Konner Riggs, who tore up North Olmsted with 34 carries for
263 yards and four scores in a 49-14 victory in the Southwestern Conference opener.
“That’s two weeks in a row that I could look back at Coach Dlugosz and see a giant smile on his face,” Avon Lake coach Matt Kostelnik said. “That’s always good to see — it always makes me happy — it feels good to run the ball and control the clock.”
The Eagles (1-1, 0-1) got a taste of what was to come on Avon Lake’s first offensive series, with Riggs running the ball five times for 26 yards, including a
7-yard score with 7:31 left in the first quarter.
“We trust Konner and we believe in him. He gets the job done and it’s awesome,” senior offensive lineman Ryan Beckman said. “We take a lot of pride in a game like that and it’s awesome, we’re really happy for him.”
When Riggs wasn’t running the ball, senior quarterback Jack Mikolich was using play-action to throw deep, as he went
9-for-13 passing for 135 yards and two touchdowns.
The Eagles briefly tied the score when Bowling Green recruit Darren Anders (11 carries, 68 yards) scored from
22 yards after Riggs’ first score, but it was all Shoremen for the balance of the first half as they scored 21 straight in the final 8:44.
Cole Schraff’s interception of North Olmsted quarterback Liam Fay set up his own score from 29 yards after a pair of Riggs runs. The Shoremen led 14-7 lead with 7:42 left in the half.
It looked like the Eagles dodged a bullet on Avon Lake’s next possession when Ryan McCrum had a 35-yard TD run brought back because of a holding penalty. But Riggs kept the offense churning and went the final 19 yards of a 72-yard drive, punching the ball in from the 1.
Avon Lake (2-0, 1-0) forced a punt and took over at its 48 with 31 seconds left after a Matt Oehlstrom punt return and a 15-yard face-mask call on the Eagles.
Riggs covered the first 25 yards on a draw play, and the final 27 went to junior Creed Bolognia for a 28-7 lead at the half.
After Riggs’ third score and a 9-yard Eagles touchdown pass from Fay to Sean Elbin, Riggs may have had his signature scoring run of the year when he barreled over a defensive back on the way to a 54-yard TD on his last carry of the night.
“Tonight was drive by drive, I wasn’t thinking about yardage, I was thinking that the offensive line just had to keep going,” Riggs said. “We’ve been pretty good at running the clock. I know that first drive against Elyria we took four minutes off the clock. That’s how good offenses are supposed to work.”
Contact James Brady at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avon Lake 49, North Olmsted 14
North Olmsted 7 0 0 7 — 14
Avon Lake 7 21 7 7 — 49
AL -- Konner Riggs, 7 run (Harry Hebert kick)
NO -- Darren Anders, 22 run (Shane Cairns kick)
AL -- Cole Schraff, 29 pass from Jack Mikolich (Hebert kick)
AL -- Riggs, 1 run (Hebert kick)
AL -- Creed Bolognia, 27 pass from Mikolich (Hebert kick)
AL -- Riggs, 3 run (Hebert kick)
NO -- Sean Elbin, 9 pass from Liam Fay (Cairns kick)
AL -- Riggs, 54 run (Hebert kick)
AL -- Gage Duesler, 5 run (Hebert kick)
First downs 9 25
— by rushing 6 15
— by passing 2 9
— by penalty 1 1
Yards rushing 102 324
Yards passing 95 135
Total offense 197 459
Passes att./comp. 24/13 13/9
Intercepted by 1 1
Fumbles/lost 0/0 0/0
Penalties/yards 6/37 10/123
RUSHING -- (NO) Darren Anders 11-68, Frank Vass 3-18, Anthony Guercio 3-13, Avery Jones 1-5, Owen Juhn 2-4, Liam Fay 2-(-1). (AL) Konner Riggs 34-263, Ryan McCrum 5-33, Gage Duesler 6-32, Harry Hebert 2-11, Jack Mikolich 3-(-5).
PASSING -- (NO) Fay 13-22-95-1-1, Jones 0-1-0-0-0, Guercio 0-1-0-0-0. (AL) Mikolich 9-13-135-2-1.
RECEIVING -- (NO) Austin Murphy 5-38, Dalton Diaz 2-15, Juhn 2-8, Sean Elbin 2-12, Lucas Servidio 1-16, Jones 1-6. (AL) Luke Fedders 4-62, Cole Schraff 2-40, Creed Bolognia 2-37, Nathan Sidloski 1-18.