AVON, Ohio — Rivalry games don't always live up to the hype, but that was not the case on this evening.
The Avon Eagles knocked off Avon Lake 20-17 Friday night in an instant classic WKYC.com High School Football Game of the Week. Junior kicker Nathaniel Vakos won it with a 30-yard field goal as time expired.
The game was a back-and-forth affair, with Avon (10-0) striking early on an 81-yard touchdown pass from Niko Pappas to Tim Conwell. Pappas would add a 35-yard rushing score on a brilliant fake, but Michael Corbo and Gage Duesler also ran the ball in for Avon Lake (8-2), and things were tied up at 14 headed into halftime.
The score remained that way into the fourth quarter until Vakos hit a 26-yarder to put the Eagles back ahead. The Shoremen appeared to take the lead back on the ensuing drive, but Jason Krukowski was controversially ruled out of bounds after making a diving catch in the end zone, and they were forced to settle for three.
Avon Lake did get the ball back after getting a stop on Avon's next drive, but Michael Corbo was sacked at his own 6 and the team was forced to punt. With good field position, the Eagles marched right down towards the goal line to set up Vakos' daggar.
Avon will face Archbishop Hoban in next Friday's Division II state semifinals after the Knights beat Hudson 31-14. This is the fourth straight time the Eagles have made it all the way to the penultimate round, but so far they're 0-3, including back-to-back blowout losses to Hoban in 2017-18.
Avon also beat Avon Lake in the regular season opener, coming back from 17 points down to win 33-30 in double overtime. This marks a repeat of last year, when the Eagles beat the Shoremen in the first game before also besting them for the regional title.
Re-listen to Dave "Dino" DeNatale's call of the game in the player below, or keep scrolling for more scores from throughout the evening: