Apollo-Ridge hangs on to top Avonworth
Apollo-Ridge's defense resembled a stone wall on the final play of its 28-21 overtime upset of Class A No. 6 Avonworth in Eastern Conference play Friday night at Owens Field.
After the Vikings' offense scored to open overtime, the defense turned away Avonworth halfback Anthony Tamasino on fourth-and-goal from the 1-inch line to win the game.
“They were phenomenal tonight,” Apollo-Ridge coach John Skiba said of his defense, which held the Antelopes to 200 yards. “They've been challenged so many times this season. They answered the challenge tonight.”
Sophomore Tre Tipton took a sweep left on second-and-goal from the Avonworth 10 for the winning touchdown.
Normally a receiver, Tipton, who ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns on four carries, lined up at tailback for a few plays because Skiba wanted to get his star's hands on the ball.
“We only put (the tweaked offense) in on Wednesday,” Skiba said. “We were worried if it rained and the field was wet, we wouldn't be able to get him the ball enough.”
Avonworth tailback Andrew Broadus took a handoff 25 yards up the middle to give Avonworth (3-2, 3-1) a 7-0 lead after one quarter. Broadus rushed for a game-high 141 yards on 22 carries. Apollo-Ridge answered with 7:39 left in the second when quarterback Jesse Zelonka found Alex Smith for a 31-yard touchdown.
Following an interception, Tipton took a toss 85 yards up the right sideline, outrunning the Avonworth defense to make it 13-7 with no time left in the quarter.
Zelonka hit Tipton on a 13-yard slant for a touchdown, and Tipton made a circus catch in the back of the end zone for the two-point conversion to give Apollo-Ridge a 21-14 lead.
Tamasino plunged in from the 1 a play after the Vikings fumbled to tie it at 21.
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer.