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Avonworth blanks Leechburg

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By Dave Yohe
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, 12:49 a.m.

In the first two games of the season, Avonworth was effective running the football.

But freshman quarterback Zack Chandler, in only his second start, gave Leechburg fits through the air.

Chandler completed 9 of 14 passes for 115 yards to lead the host Antelopes to a 35-0 Eastern Conference win at Lenzner Field.

“We thought we could exploit some of their weaknesses in the defense, and we thought we could throw on them,” Avonworth coach Duke Johncour said. “They wanted to pack the box a little bit, so we wanted to take what they were giving us.”

Neither team was able to establish much of a running game in the first half, but No. 7 Avonworth (2-1, 2-0) found success downfield.

Chandler helped account for all the scoring in the first half, throwing a trio of 15-yard touchdowns, to Jesse Zubik, Dalton Day and Ryan Walsh, who caught a lob in the back of the end zone for a 21-0 lead.

Junior running back Kris Smith, who gained 69 yards on 16 carries, led Leechburg (1-2, 0-2).

Senior receiver Jake Iellimo rushed for 16 yards on six attempts while seeing time in the wildcat offense late in the game.

“It's disappointing,” Leechburg coach Mark George said. “I know the kids are out there working hard. They had some decent defensive stands out there, when it still was a game. That's something positive we have to build upon.”

Dave Yohe is a freelance writer.

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