Elyria High School opened a brand new stadium Friday night in front of nearly 4,000 fans. The seats were filled, the crowd was excited, the band was prepared, and the stage was set for the Elyria Pioneers to kick off the season the right way. However, Avon Lake Shoremen would have other plans as they defeated Elyria by a final score of 42-15.
Avon Lake won the toss and elected to bring the strength of their team on the field. The Shoremen returned nine offensive starters from a team that nearly missed the playoffs in 2017. Coach Matt Kostelnik, Avon Lake, and the rest of the offense were on a mission to prove that 2017 was not a fluke, rather a building block for a successful 2018 season. On the opening possession of the 1st quarter, the Shoremen drove the ball down the field, as RB/TE #44 Matt Sanders punched it in for a 2-yd TD.
After a quick score by Avon Lake, it was time for the young Elyria Pioneers to take the field. Under center for the Pioneers was QB Nolen. Nolen would lead the Pioneers onto the field; after a few quarterback keepers, the Pioneers would fumble the football that the Shoremen would recover. The Shoremen would make quick work of a short field and would score on a 15 yd. TD by eventual #HSGOTW MVP RB Konner Riggs. The remainder of the first half was all Shoremen, which included causing a fumble, an interception, and blocking two punts. The Shoremen would score two additional TDs in the first half making it a 28-0 score at halftime.
After halftime, the game was seemingly out of reach. However, Elyria Pioneers would not go down without a fight. Elyria WR would take a screen pass 85 yards to the house in the 3rd quarter, which would bring the score to Avon Lakes 35, Elyria 7. The fight continued by the Pioneers when they blocked a punt and pounced on it for a TD. After a quick surge by Elyria, Avon Lake would drive down the field and put the game out of reach on another TD run by QB Jack Mickolich.
No high school football game is complete without great volunteers. Tonight Troy Smith, an Avon Lake youth football player and ball boy, volunteered his time on the sidelines with the varsity team. Troy stated that his favorite part about volunteering the last five years is catching field goals and extra points. #Give10
Next week Avon Lake (1-0) hosts North Olmsted (1-0) and Elyria (0-1) will go on the road to face Bedford (0-1).