It doesn’t take much for Avon and Brownsburg fans to get up for their annual gridiron rivalry game. Add in a pair of high profile, Division I quarterback recruits, another three recruits who will be playing football on Saturdays and more than a couple of players who are drawing the attention of major programs and you have the recipe for a game that has star power written all over it.
The Avon Orioles enter tonight’s game once again feeling the gut punch of a last second loss. The Avon offense, which had averaged over 41 points and 476 yards of offense per game, seemed to be out of sync from the get go. Part of the reason could be contributed to the two delay due to lightning in the area of host Hamilton Southeastern that pushed the kickoff back from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Both teams were forced to wait the weather out in the locker rooms and the delay seemed to affect both teams early. The Oriole offense sputtered at times as senior quarterback Brandon Peters (Michigan) had trouble hooking up with his receivers and was flustered much of the game by the Royals front seven which sacked him twice on the first drive of the game. Peters finished the game 11-27 for 155 yards on the evening. The Orioles once again committed a turnover on special teams that led to Royals points. Despite Avon’s struggles on offense, the Orioles led by 8 with less than 6 minutes left in the game. But defensive penalties allowed the Royals to stay on the field and culminated in a game tying touchdown with less than a minute remaining in the game. After the ensuing kickoff, the Orioles set up for what they hoped would be a last-second, game-winning drive but Peters was hit from behind and fumbled the football. The Royals recovered on the Orioles 21-yard line and eventually kicked the game winning 37 yard field goal.
The Brownsburg Bulldogs also had to deal with a delay in their home game against Franklin last week. But rather than having to wait two hours to take the field like the Orioles did, Brownsburg had to wait 15 hours as the game was postponed until Saturday morning due to inclement weather. While the Orioles seemed to be out of sync dealing with their delay, the Bulldogs rolled out of bed and in to the end zone early and often against the visiting Grizzly Cubs scoring 27 points in the first quarter leading to a 68-7 win over the Grizzly Cubs. The victory snapped an 8 game losing streak stretching back to last season. Brownsburg’s junior quarterback Hunter Johnson (Tennessee) threw for 171 yards in the first half and 3 touchdown’s. The Bulldogs offense was helped out by a staggering 16 fumbles by the Grizzly Cubs. The Bulldogs recovered 8 of Franklin’s fumbles and added an interception. Up 41-7 at the half, many of Brownsburg’s starters sat in the second half. Bulldogs running back Toks Akinribade (Iowa) carried the ball 12 times for 62 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The touchdowns gave Akinribade his 40th and 41st career touchdown for the Bulldogs breaking a 60 year old record. Senior wide receiver Tyler Kirtz (Ball State) had 63 yards and 2 touchdowns on only 4 receptions while senior Ray White had 3 catches for 85 yards and 1 touchdown. The defense also got in to the action as Sam Hoffa scooped up a Franklin fumble and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown as well as coming with the Bulldogs first interception of the season.
In the long history of this series, the Avon Orioles hold an 18-14 advantage. Since Mark Bless took over the Oriole football program in 2010, Avon is 5-2 against Brownsburg and are 2-1 against the Bulldogs with Johnson at the helm of the offense.
Join me and my broadcast partner Dave Shelbourne for Game Night in Hendricks County on XRBradio.com and Audio Sports Online. The pregame show begins at 7:20 p.m. with the Mark Bless Show followed by the kickoff between the 12th ranked Orioles and the Bulldogs set for 8:00 p.m.