Antelopes make short work of OLSH

Avonworth’s Kevin Simpson pushes through the OLSH defensive line to pick up yardage, something he did frequently during last Friday’s game. Photo by Luke Thor Travis for The Citizen

By JIM RUMBLE

The Avonworth Antelopes football team made short work of the OLSH Chargers when the two teams met at Robert Morris University last Friday.

The 'Lopes put 35 points on the board in the first quarter on their way to a 41-0 win.

"The kids made some plays tonight and they [OLSH] made some mistakes and we were able to capitalize on them," said coach Duke Johncour.

Avonworth starters -- including quarterback Zach Chandler, who was 8-11 passing for 190 yards including three TD passes -- were limited to first half action with the mercy rule in effect during the second half.

The 'Lopes got right down to business on the game-opening possession, moving the ball 74 yards in six plays for a touchdown.

Key plays in the drive were pass completions by Chandler of 27 yards to Sebastian Mihalko and 48 yards to Kurt Niklaus, but Kevin Simpson capped the drive with 1-yard TD run and kicker Cole Pappas tacked on the extra point to give the Antelopes a 7-0 lead.

Avonworth obtained good field position following OLSH's first possession, and began their next touchdown drive from the Chargers' 47-yard line.

Simpson ripped off a 38-yard run on first down to the OLSH 9. The drive ended with Chandler completing a 5-yard TD pass to Garrett Day, followed by Pappas's kick that put the Antelopes in front 14-0 with 7:03 left in the opening quarter.

Niklaus came up big for the 'Lopes defense when he ended OLSH's next possession with an interception that was returned 38 yards for a touchdown. Pappas followed with the kick, extending Avonworth's lead to 21-0.

A short punt ended the next Charger possession and the 'Lopes took advantage with a drive that started from the OLSH 34-yard line. A swing pass to Simpson that picked up a first down was negated by an Antelope penalty, but the 'Lopes' offense continued to move forward. Chandler completed a pass to Day for 20 yards before tossing a 14-yard pass to Jamal Hughley for the touchdown. Pappas's extra point followed to give Avonworth a 28-0 lead with 2:43 left in the first quarter.

The 'Lopes' defense forced a fumble on the Chargers' next possession that was recovered by Chris Stanley at the OLSH 7. On first down, Chandler completed a TD pass to Day, and Pappas followed with the kick to extend the lead to 35-0.

A short punt ended an OLSH possession, once more giving Avonworth good field position at the Chargers' 37. A pass reception by Cole Jenkins and a couple of runs by Simpson moved the offense forward, but the Antelopes came away empty-handed when a kick by Pappas missed from 24 yards out early in the second quarter.

Avonworth forced a three-and-out possession by OLSH before they embarked on their final touchdown drive. Beginning from the Antelope 37, the offense moved primarily on the ground with runs by Simpson. A 23 yard pass completion from Chandler to Niklaus set up Simpson's 7-yard touchdown run that put the score at 41-0.

Simpson finished the half with 17 carries for 102 yards.

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