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Ava Claims #1 Seed In District Play With 32-6 Victory Over Willow Springs

A wet, muddy field wasn’t enough to slow down the Ava Bears as they defeated the Willow Springs Bears easily last Friday night 32-6.

By Chance Dry

Could the Ava Bears cap off an 8 game win streak against the Willow Springs Bears leading to a second straight SCA conference championship? With Silvey field soaked with water, you had to wonder how the running game would turn out for the Ava Bears last Friday night. 

Unfortunately, the opening drive for Ava didn’t go as planned. Kayden Myers was muscling through the line when a Willow Springs defender stripped the ball and took it 45 yards for the score to put Willow up over Ava at the 11-minute mark of the first quarter. The point after attempt was no good, leaving the score 6-0 Willow Springs.

The turnover and score lit a fire under the Ava Bears, as they would go on to score 32 unanswered points en route to a 32-6 win and their second straight SCA title.

Starting off the scoring for the Bears was Stephen Copeland who received the handoff from Caleb Johnson, breaks a number of tackles and ran it 36 yards to put the Ava Bears on the board. Nate Swofford then took the ball in on the ground for two making it 8-6 at the 5:11 mark of the first quarter.

Then in the second quarter, Johnson settled into the pocket firing the ball downfield 36 yards to Copeland to set up an 8-yard touchdown run by Copeland. Kayden Myers then ran in for two, giving the Ava Bears a 16-6 lead at the 11:14 mark of the second quarter.

Johnson was able to find Zach Mendel wide open in the end zone for a 22-yard completion and the score at the 6:22 mark of the second quarter.

The next possession for Ava looked promising, as they marched down the field to their own 1-yard line. Caleb Johnson tried to dump a short pass over the middle, but the defender of Willow Springs was there to intercept it.

Willow Springs’ victory was short-lived as freshman Spencer Skyles pulled down an interception on the Willow drive and took it 55 yards for the score. Copeland would run in for two, putting the Ava Bears up over the Willow Springs Bears 32-6 at the 1:06 mark of the second quarter. Neither Ava nor Willow Springs would score again. 

The Ava defense seems to be getting better every week, not letting the opposing team score very many points each game. The wet and soggy field played many factors though as neither side of the ball was able to keep their footing all night. 

The Bears, as the #1 seed in the district, will be at home Friday night to start Class 2 District playoffs against Forsyth, the 8th seed.

Ava will have home-field advantage as long as they keep winning football games through district play.

Caleb Johnson, 6 carries for 38 yards, passing 4-8. 110 yards, 1 TD,  2 INT

Steven Copeland, 6 carries for 67 yards, 2 TD

Nate Swofford, 8 carries for 28 yards

Josh Bray, 4 carries for 41 yards

Kayden Myers, 17 carries 65 yards

Spencer Skyles, 5 carries 20 yards

Zach Mendel, 2 receptions for 62 yards, 1 TD

Team Totals

Rushing – 260 yards

Passing – 110 yards

Total offense – 370 yards