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September 7, 2013AVONDALE - Field position and quick hitters broke open this former Western Highlands foes in a 1A football match up as Avery avenged last year's loss in a 34-13 road victory at Thomas Jefferson, Friday.
Avery quarterback Tre Jackson fumbled the pitch away on their first possession at the Avery 35 where Chris Mintz of the Gryphons recovered the football. Thomas Jefferson grabbed the early lead on 34-yard Mason Fenner field goal just six plays later to go up 3-0.
Thomas Jefferson would hold that lead until the middle of the second quarter. Avery's Jackson set up their first score when he punted the ball down inside the Gryphons 6-yard line on a 41 yard boot. A three an out forced TJCA to punt and hand the ball back to Avery on a 30-yard punt to the Gryphons 41. Eight plays later, Avery's Jackson hit Austin Phillips on a crossing route for a 15-yard score to go up 7-3.
Just before the half, Jackson pinned the Gryphons down at their own 1-yard line after a 42-yard punt. Gryphons quarterback Mason Martin (8-16-110 yards) had a pass tipped and Trevor Pickens came up with the interception a the Gryphons 49. Two bubble screens later to Phillips set the Vikings up at the TJCA 11. Jackson went right back to his favorite target across the middle in Phillips who picked up the 11-yard distance for a 13-3 following the missed extra point.
The Gryphons got back into the thick of things with Martin and Trey McGhee rushing in the third quarter picking up 33 yard combined on a 59-yard drive that stopped at the Avery 5-yard line. Fenner would kick a 22-yard field goal to cut the TJCA deficit to 13-6.
However, out of I-formation, Avery answered on its next series marching 10 plays for 68 yards with fullback Daniel Childress (15 carries-130 yards-TD) bursting through a hole in the middle of the defense with two Gryphons defenders missing a tackle each on a 28-yard scoring jaunt. Jackson would be true on the extra point to extend the lead to 20-6.
Following the score, Tyler Mitchell found room for a 50-yard kick return, setting up TJCA at the Avery 46 as the third quarter came to a close. Efrim Borders kept the Gryphons alive on a fourth-and-ten with an 11-yard reception to the Vikings 15. It was Coty Flynn who then went back-to-back plays for six yards and then scored from nine, slicing the lead to 20-13 with nine minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
Five quick plays later, Avery would be in the end zone as a strong 63-yard run by Childress on four missed tackles carried Gryphon defenders to the TJCA 3. In the drive, that set up Shayne Carpenter muscling his way into the end zone on a one-yard plunge just two plays later for a 27-13 Vikings advantage with seven minutes left.
Avery wasn't finished as the Gryphons never got past their own 15 on their next possession and Peyton Lowery along with Ryan Sheppard converged on a 10-yard sack at the TJCA 1. A punt gave the Vikings the pigskin at the TJCA 32. Just four plays later, Jackson ducked through the line and blasted 24 yards up field to pull away from the Gryphons in a 21-point difference on the scoreboard.
Thomas Jefferson, who was held to a season low 238 yards of offense on the night was led by Efrim Borders with six catches and 82 yard receiving.
Avery (2-1), who lost to Thomas Jefferson 13-6 a season ago will face Watauga at home next Friday. Thomas Jefferson (2-1) host Asheville School in two weeks.
North Carolina NEWS