High school football: Avon beats Westfield 23-6

It’s hard to overcome a slow start. It’s even harder on a cold, wet and windy night. Westfield found that out Friday.

Hoosier Conference Crossroads foe Avon pounced on the Shamrocks for 16 first-quarter points and made the lead stand, winning 23-6 to move to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the HCC.

Avon, ranked No. 9 in 6A, chose to kick to start the game and had wind gusts exceeding 20 miles per hour at its back. When the Shamrocks couldn’t move, or hang onto, the ball, the Orioles mounted three solid drives to take control of the game.

“We chose to kick with the wind and pin them down a little bit,” Avon coach Mark Bless said. “If nothing else, when they had to punt we wanted it to be a short punt so we had a short field. And I thought we executed very well early, establishing a lead and let our defense play.”

In addition to the wind, light to steady rain started just before kickoff and lasted the entire game. It didn’t impact Avon, which dominated the first quarter, outgaining Westfield 145-56 and forcing two turnovers. Derrick Tennant got the Orioles started right. Following a Shamrock interception, he went off tackle and darted outside on his way to a 46-yard scoring run.

Two possessions later — following a Westfield fumble — Avon went on the march again. Quarterback Brandon Peters ran three times for 18 yards before hitting Tennant on a 16-yard pass, taking the ball to the Westfield 3. On the next play, Tennant scored again, pushing the Avon lead to 13-0.

High school football roundup, Week 7

The wind and Westfield’s struggles on offense gave the Orioles the ball back at their own 42. Tennant ran for 12 yards and Darian Love for 17 more before Peters hit Tennant on a 10-yard pass. A penalty would move Avon back and stunt the drive, but Alex Stephan made good on a 41-yard field goal just before the quarter ended to put his team up 16-0.

Westfield, No. 7 in 5A, finally got on track late in the first half, driving 66 yards in a little more than two minutes to move to the Avon 6. Two runs and an incompletion moved the ball to the 3, but on fourth down and with time expiring, Westfield quarterback Ryan Pepiot’s pass into the end zone fell incomplete.

The Shamrocks would also miss field goals of 38 and 32 yards in the second half but did get on the board when Pepiot broke free on a 55-yard run to set up his own 1-yard score. But Westfield would turn the ball over on downs at its own 5-yard line with two minutes left, setting up Tennant’s final score: a 6-yard pass from Peters. Tennant finished with 169 yards rushing and 36 receiving.

Westfield (4-3, 3-2) running back Elvin Caldwell, who had rushed for 699 yards entering the game, didn’t get a carry until the final play of the third quarter. Shamrock head coach Jake Gilbert said Caldwell had been sick this week and was taken to the hospital for tests that came back negative.

“Give (Avon) credit, but obviously the weather didn’t help,” Gilbert said. “The coin toss was really important tonight. The story of the game was the two turnovers at the start of the game. They got up 16-0, and that turned out to be enough for them.”

Avon 23, Westfield 6













Avon — Derrick Tennant 46 run (kick fail)

Avon — Tennant 3 run (Alex Stephan kick)

Avon — Stephan 41 FG

Westfield — Ryan Pepiot 1 run (pass fail)

Avon — Tennant 6 pass from Brandon Peters (Stephan kick)



First downs



Total Net Yards





















Rushing — Avon, Tennant 34-169, Darian Love 4-20, Peters 5-16, team 2-(-8). Westfield, Pepiot 12-82, Brandon Karsnick 10-50, Elvin Caldwell 3-6.

Passing — Avon, Peters 12-23-0 106. Westfield, Pepiot 10-25-1 83.

Receiving — Avon, Andrew Griffin 5-60, Tennant 6-36, Matt Moore 1-10. Westfield, Milo Beam 4-57, Ben Lotfalion 3-13, Caldwell 1-5, Karsnick 1-5, Max McCool 1-3.

Missed Field Goals — Nick Dowd (38, 32).

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