By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
An oddly low halftime score eventually turned into a blowout win for the Avalon Eagles on Thursday against Leverett’s Chapel in the 1A Division I bi-district championship.
Leverett’s Chapel actually led at the end of the first quarter, 6-0, and then held the Eagle offense to just six points in the second quarter to force a 6-6 halftime tie. The score is odd enough to see in an 11-man game, let alone a potentially high-scoring 6-man playoff contest.
Avalon then exploded in the second half for 45 points and a 51-12 bi-district victory at Mabank High School. Avalon entered the game as the ninth-ranked team in the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football 1A Division I poll.
Miguel Padron once again led the way for the Eagle offense, this time scoring five total touchdowns and accounting for 343 of the 370 total yards amassed Avalon.
That’s a whopping 92.7 percent of the offense running through the legs and arm of Padron.
The senior quarterback rushed a game-high 28 times for 246 yards and five touchdowns. He also completed 6-of-his-15 passes for 97 yards and one touchdown to Adrian Sanchez (4-59).
Rhett Newton also contributed on the offensive side of the football, rushing four times for 20 yards and one touchdown and catching one pass for 14 yards. But it was on the defensive side that Newton left his mark.
The senior recorded a team-best 20 total tackles (9 solos), forced two fumbles and recovered one loose ball.
Kevin Vidales helped the defensive effort with 13 total tackles (5 solos), while he and Padron also each picked off one Lion pass. Colby Ornelas and Daniel Esquivel both recovered a fumble, as well.
LAST TIME OUT
Avalon entered the postseason on the heels of a thrilling, come-from-behind win against in-county rival Milford, 55-54.
The win secured the outright District 11-1A title.
“These guys, I couldn’t ask for a more dedicated and hardworking group of kids,” Avalon head coach Malcolm Cole told KBEC Sports after the win. “We went down by as many as 17 points and battled back and that just shows you the heart and desire that these kids have.
“We have great leadership from our seniors and everybody from our freshmen to our seniors contributes. We have a family motto and we really came out with a family mentality tonight.”
Cole also tipped his hat the coaching staff and “the man upstairs.”
A 12-yard carry by Padron on the Eagles’ final drive sealed the victory and allowed Avalon to run out the clock.
The scamper also provided the Eagles with proof that they — much like Milford has proven to do over the past decade — can win the “big game,” too.
“Any time you win big games like this, you are going to take momentum,” Cole said. “Hopefully, you are going to take a desire and, most of all, experience [from it]. The thing about Milford is they have played in so many big games.
“And we are now playing in those big games and having success so, hopefully, we can take that momentum down the road toward a goal that we want to achieve.”
The Eagles improved to a still-perfect 11-0 on the season with the bi-district win Thursday.
Avalon will face the winner of Saint Jo and Aquilla in the 1A Division I Region III regional championship.
All photos by Fred Phipps/KBEC Sports during the Avalon Eagles’ regular-season finale against the Milford Bulldogs on Friday, Nov. 8 at Eagle Field in Avalon.
Fred Phipps/KBEC Sports contributed to this report.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith