High school football: Rivals Avon, Avon Lake getting together for annual high school football clash

Tim Gebhardt
The Chronicle Telegram

Tracks of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad is the only thing separating two communities with a lot of pride in their football programs.

It’s become the source of the “Silver Rail” Trophy awarded annually to the winner of the Avon-Avon Lake game, which began in 2015 when Avon joined the Southwestern Conference.

The Shoremen currently hold the trophy thanks to a 30-24 victory last year. Avon Lake took advantage of three fumbles and an interception, but Avon nearly came back from a 30-10 halftime deficit.

This year, Avon (2-1) is coming off a tough loss to Glenville, 27-21. The Eagles won a lightning-shortened opener in Florida, 7-0, over Stratford (SC) and defeated Medina in a thrilling 43-42 Week 2 win. Avon Lake (3-0) has shutout wins over Strongsville (38-0) and Brecksville-Broadview Heights (35-0), while defeating St. John the Baptist from New York, 38-7 last week.

Avon Lake and Avon has become the biggest Lorain County rivalry for a number of reasons. Both play in the prestigious SWC and both fight for the league title every year. Both are Division II powers likely to sit at the top of the playoff rankings. Both have had great success in the playoffs, with Avon Lake winning the state title in 2003 and finishing as runner-up the following year. The Shoremen have made 23 playoff appearances, going 28-22.

Avon has been in the postseason 15 times, finishing as runner-up in 2011 and reaching the Final Four in each of the past five seasons. The Eagles are 30-15 in the postseason.

Both are coached by Mount Union graduates, where both earned All-American status. Avon’s Mike Elder was an All-American offensive tackle in 1992. Avon Lake’s Matt Kostelnik was an All-American defensive back in 2007. Both played for legendary coach Larry Kehres. Both coached under him as well

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