Avon Park blanks Bartow

AVON PARK - The Avon Park Red Devils youth football teams are hitting their stride as the playoffs near with a sweep of the Bartow Yellow Jackets on Saturday at Memorial Field. Avon Park cruised to victory by a score of 28-7 in the Flag game, as Christopher Martin scored twice in keeping the youngest team perfect for the season at 9-0. JayShon Evans and Martice Spears each reached the end zone to score in the victory. They stand alone on top of the Flag District 5 Citrus Division.
Avon Park won the Mitey Mite contest 14-0 as the Red Devils took an unconventional lead in the first quarter when the defense earned a safety when they chased and tackled the Bartow ball carrier in the end zone for a 2-0 lead. Zarion Sutton scored the first touchdown for Avon Park in the second quarter on a 20-yard scamper to increase the lead to 8-0. Avon Park quarterback Travis Kerney capped off the scoring on a 9-yard run up the middle with 11 seconds left in the first half to put the Red Devils up 14-0. Both teams threatened in the second half, but was unable to get the ball across the goal line as Avon Park held on to the 14-0 win to improve to 7-2 for the season. They are currently in second place in the Mitey Mite District 5 Citrus Division behind the Sebring Blue Streaks. Avon Park blanked Bartow by a score of 27-0 in the Pee Wee game. Missing from this game and for the next three to four weeks was Avon Park running back Jabari Knighten, who suffered a wrist injury in last week's game and is currently sporting a cast. With the loss of Knighten, The Red Devils did not miss a beat as Malcolm Dewberry stepped up to score three touchdowns for the Red Devils. Dewberry ran for a 51-yard score in the first quarter and had runs of 27 and 65 for touchdowns in the third quarter that gave the Red Devils a 27-0 lead. Shortly after Dewberry's third touchdown, Bartow conceded the game before starting the final quarter. Though Jabari did not play, the Knighten's were not exactly quiet as his younger brother, Jalen, scored in the second quarter on a 15-yard run as he coasted around the left side untouched into the end zone. The Pee Wee team improved to 8-1 for the season and are in first place in the Pee Wee District 5 Citrus Division. In the Junior game, Avon Park crushed Bartow by a score of 34-6. The Red Devils utilized an efficient offense and aggressive defense as they built a 13-0 first half lead on touchdown runs by Jalen Turner and Johnny Brown. Turner bulled his way from 2 yards out in the first quarter and Brown jetted past the Bartow defense for a 25-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Though Avon Park dominated the first half, they went into the half only leading by 7 when in the closing minute of the half, Bartow struck with a quick pass up the middle that would result in a 78-yard pass play for a touchdown to make the score 13-6. Avon Park regained the momentum midway in the third quarter as Brown scored his second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run to make the score 20-6. David Martin increased the Red Devil lead to 27-6 when he exploded up the middle and through the Bartow defense for a 57-yard touchdown run with 30 seconds left in the third quarter. Jamal Jones sealed the victory with an 8-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to give the Red Devils the 34-6 win. Avon Park improved to 8-1 for the year in the Junior District 5 Citrus Division. Though they share the same record as Lake Placid, Avon Park holds the tie breaker when they beat the Green Dragons earlier this season and are currently in first place. The Red Devils will play their last regular season game of the season on Saturday in Wauchula as they face the Heartland Hurricanes. There will be no football the week after as the Mid Florida Football Cheerleading Conference (MFFCC) will be holding its cheerleading competition on October 26. The first round of the playoffs will be held in Lake Placid on Nov. 2. The first and second place teams in District 5 Citrus Division will play each other to advance to the next round.