HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: AVON DOMINATES TOP-SEEDED TOLEDO CENTRAL CATHOLIC, EARNS SECOND STRAIGHT TRIP TO STATE

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    Avon’s Mark Steinmetz runs in the fourth quarter against Toledo Central Catholic. DAVID RICHARD / CHRONICLE

CLYDE — Avon knew the odds were stacked against it during Friday’s Division II regional final against top-seeded, unbeaten and state-ranked Toledo Central Catholic.

It didn’t matter.

The Eagles used a dominating first-half performance, four defensive takeaways and a back-breaking scoring drive in the fourth quarter to upend the Irish 37-22 and earn their second straight trip to the state tournament.

“I don’t think people realize how special this was,” Avon coach Mike Elder said. “That’s a really good football team. I told our kids throughout the week, ‘You play them 10 times, you probably lose nine but you only have to beat them once’ … and we did that tonight.”

At the epicenter of the winning performance was senior quarterback Ryan Maloy, who also came up with several big plays from his safety position on defense.

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