Avon’s Devon Hunter pressed into running back role — and has thrived

Tim Gebhardt
The Chronicle-Telegram
Nov 28, 2019

 

Avon coach Mike Elder calls him a Division I college talent.

Opponents simply fear him.

Meet Devon Hunter, Avon’s leading rusher. The 205-pound junior tailback rushed for 206 yards and five touchdowns in a regional semifinal win over Benedictine two weeks ago at Byers Field in Parma. He’ll line up on that same turf tonight against Massillon in a Division II state semifinal.

“We knew he was a good back,” Elder said. “He ran the ball as a sophomore but he was coming off an injury all preseason so he didn’t play in any of the scrimmages. The first game he was able to participate in was against our rivals (Avon Lake to open the season). Coming in with his injury, we wanted to keep him on one side of the ball. We had Nick (Perusek), who was a returning starter playing at a high level.”

Hunter started the year as a linebacker and has been successful on defense with 39 tackles, three sacks, three forced fumbles, two quarterback pressures and an interception.

“Devon Hunter comes over from the starting linebacker position,” Elder said. “You replace him but he still plays some defense. We knew he was talented but for our team’s purposes early on in the summer, it’s better to not have kids play both ways.

“It wasn’t until Week 5 or 6 where he got more carries because he needed to come into that role. He’s really excelled since then.”

 

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