NORTH ROYALTON — With the game tied heading into the fourth quarter, Avon needed to score and milk the clock.
Luckily for the Eagles, those just happen to be running back Gerett Choat’s specialties, and he couldn’t have picked a better time to return to action on offense.
The junior rushed for 59 of his 95 yards and scored two of his three touchdowns in the final quarter, adding a 7-yard reception for good measure in Avon’s 42-21 victory over Medina Highland on Friday night in a Division II, Region 4, quarterfinal at North Royalton High School.
The win puts the Eagles into a rematch with Midview next Friday at a site to be determined. Avon lost 49-42 at Midview in Week 5.
Choat had not had a carry since Week 5 when he tore the AC joint in his right shoulder against Midview.
He has since played on the defensive side of the ball, but junior Sonny Cooper had been handling the running duties.
Cooper left the game with about 7:00 left in the second quarter after he came up nursing his leg following a 28-yard run. He finished with 36 yards on four carries.
“The past five weeks leading up to this, I didn’t play offense at all, and honestly that sucked because I love offense,” said Choat, who finished with five catches and 140 total yards. “But I feel like defense is really good for me, playing both sides of the football. But when Sonny went down early in the game I thought that I had to be the one who had to step up and lead our team to success.”
But with Highland (8-3) running the ball at will — the Hornets finished with 293 yards thanks mostly to running back Grant Wallace and quarterback Blake Phelps combining for 254 yards on 40 carries off of a deadly read-option attack — Avon needed an answer.
The Eagles (10-1) found it on their first drive of the fourth quarter. After Jake Sopko connected with tight end Chris Maxwell for back-to-back gains of 31 and 11 yards, then added an 11-yard run of his own, Choat began closing out the game.
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