BRISTOL >> The deck was stacked against the young Lewis Mills football team from the start. The Spartans played their first home game of the season Saturday morning at Muzzy Field but were facing an Avon team that was still stinging from last week’s 16-13 loss to Canton on the final play of the game.
Avon went 10-0 a year ago in the regular season to win its fourth Pequot Uncas Division title in five years.
The Falcons (1-1, 1-1 Pequot West) took out their frustration on the young, undermanned Spartans in a 35-0 decision.
Avon running back Jimmy Murphy scored three touchdowns and ran for a game-high 93 yards on 10 carries. He was a hard man to bring down and he also recovered a fumble. Murphy also recovered a fumble and had a sack that were negated due to Avon penalities.
By the end of the game, Mills (0-2, 0-1 Pequot West) had lost four starting players including quarterback Collin Thorn, who broke a finger late in the first half. Trevor Watts, a leading receiver and kickoff returner, was injured along with linebacker/guard Cam McHale and offensive/defensive tackle Keith Millum.
“Those four are all seniors and all starters for us,” Mills coach Jose Santana said. “Once they were out, it dropped quickly to (inexperienced) sophomores.”
Mills was able to make a few plays but nothing that enabled them to come close to scoring nor stopping Avon.
“We got punched in the mouth hard today and we didn’t punch back,” Santana said.
When the week began, Avon was still a bit stunned from its loss to Canton. The Falcons turned the ball over three times and lost to the Warriors for the first time ever. Avon coach Jim Caouette credited his coaching staff for getting the Falcons to focus this week on the challenges ahead.
“We got better as the week went on,” said Caouette, who had the contents of a water cooler dumped on him to celebrate his first career victory. “Today, we finished drives and we were pretty tough on defense. I think we’re going in the right direction.”
Avon took a 7-0 lead on its first driving, matching 48 plays in seven plays. Teddy Allemingder scored on an 11-yard run. The key play was a 22-yard gain by Murphy on fourth down and one at the Mills 42-yard line.
Murphy made it 14-0 on a one-yard run with 1:46 left in the first quarter. The key play was a 19-yard run by Murphy to the one. Murphy also scored on runs of six yards and 28 yards as Avon led 28-0 at halftime.
It could have been more. Avon had two touchdown passes and a fumble recovery for a touchdown called back due to penalties.
Mills’ best drive of the first half began on its own 29-yard line after a 26-yard kickoff return from Max Stone. Thorn completed five of seven passes on the drive for 55 yards, connecting three times with Watts with completions of 16, six and 13 yards. The drive stalled on the Avon 24.
Lewis Mills’ final drive of the game was good as the Spartans drove to the Avon 38-yard line. Quarterback Lucas Lanning completed a 12-yard pass over the middle to Nate Cook for a first down in Avon territory before the drive stalled.
Watts caught five passes for 45 yards and ran back two kickoffs for 37 yards. Matt Rinkus had an interception in the end zone that stopped an Avon drive in the third quarter. Before he was injured, Thorn completed 6-of-11 passes for 63 yards.
Mlls has now lost 12 straight games dating back to the 2011 campaign.
Avon 35, Lewis Mills 0
Avon (1-1) 14 14 7 0 – 35
Lewis Mills (0-2) 0 0 0 0 — 0
A: Teddy Allmendinger 11 run (John Burdick kick), 6:13
A: Jimmy Murphy 1 run (Burdick kick), 1:46
A: Murphy 6 run (Burdick kick), 10:05
A: Murphy 28 run (Burdick kick), 4:42
A: Stephen Griffin 2 run (Burdick kick), 8:03
RUSHING: Avon – Noah Hahn 5-23, Jimmy Murphy 10-93, Stephen Griffin 5-30, Teddy Allmendinger 3-46; Mills – Lucas Lanning 4-7, Artis Artemiadis 1-14, Cullin Kennedy 1-0, Max Stone 7-2, Collin Thorn 3-minus 6, Hayden Marci 1-1
PASSING: Avon – Noah Hahn 10-19-1, 94; Lewis Mills – Collin Thorn 6-11-0, 93; Trevor Blake 0-2-0, Lucas Lanning 4-9-0, 21
RECEIVING: Avon – Jimmy Murphy 2-6, Anthony Agli 2-24, Dylan Marquis 2-2, Justin Reichler 2-45, Robert Bujwid 1-9, Sean DelGallo 1-4, Geoff Kirk 1-8; Lewis Mills – Trevor Watts 5-45, Justin Pease 1-15, Dominik Jankowski 1-15, Artis Artemiadis 2-7, Nate Cook 1-12