Antelopes add another win in Apollo-Ridge game

Avonworth’s Ethan Syam (No. 24) was on the receiving end of several of QB Derek Johncour’s 14 passes for 190 yards as the Antelopes scored a 42-6 victory over Apollo-Ridge last Friday night. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

With stormy weather in the forecast for last Friday's contest, Avonworth's football game at Apollo-Ridge was moved up an hour, and for the second consecutive week the outcome was determined early as the Antelopes rolled past the Vikings 42-6.

Quarterback Derek Johncour completed 14-20 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns, but the 'Lopes sustained balance on offense as Jax Miller ran for 121 yards including three rushing touchdowns.

Avonworth got on the board with their second possession of the game thanks to a 55-yard punt return by Turner Grau that set up Miller's eight-yard touchdown run. Jason Novosel added the extra point kick, and the Antelopes went up 7-0 with 4:44 remaining in the first quarter.

Apollo-Ridge was forced to punt the ball away on their next drive, and a shabby kick allowed Avonworth to start on offense at the Vikings’ 20 yard line. Grau scored on an end around play from 13 yards out, and Novosel tacked on the extra point kick to put the 'Lopes in front 14-0 with 1:49 remaining in the first quarter.

Miller scored his second touchdown on a one-yard run early in the second quarter and with Novosel's kick to follow Avonworth moved ahead 21-0.

Apollo-Ridge put together a long drive late in the second quarter that stalled at the Avonworth 20. That drive ended with a 31-yard field goal attempt that missed wide to the left of the post.

The Antelope offense moved quickly into Viking territory as halftime was approaching, with a 24-yard pass completion from Johncour to Ethan Syam and a 14-yard scramble by Johncour to the Apollo-Ridge 36. Johncour completed a 36-yard scoring strike to Grau with no time left on the clock, and with a botched snap on the extra point try, Avonworth went into halftime leading 27-0.

Apollo-Ridge took advantage of an Avonworth turn-over on the first possession of the third quarter when a pass by Johncour was intercepted. The pick was returned 45 yards and a penalty against the 'Lopes on the return placed the ball at the Avonworth eight. The Vikings completed a six-yard pass for the touchdown on fourth down, and the extra point kick was blocked, so Avonworth's lead was now 27-6.

The Antelopes overcame a couple of penalties on their next possession, moving 79 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown. Miller accounted for 53 yards on the ground during the drive, while Johncour had completions of nine yards to Nick Weiser and 19 yards to Syam that moved the ball to the Apollo-Ridge eight. Johncour completed a two-yard pass to Drew Harper for the score, and Park Penrod completed a pass to Grau for the two-point conversion that gave the 'Lopes a 35-6 lead with 2:29 remaining in the third quarter.

The Vikings were intercepted on their next possession, which led to an Antelope touchdown in the early stages of the fourth quarter.

The four-play drive started at the Apollo-Ridge 36 yard line and ended when Miller ran untouched 15 yards up the middle for a touchdown. Novosel made good on the kick that followed to finalize Avonworth's 42-6 victory.