AFTON — The real Afton Eagles showed up in the second half of their Class A second-round playoff game with Cashion here Friday, 17.
Trailing 14-6 at intermission — the first time that’s happened all season — No.1 AHS (11-0) scored on five straight second-half possessions to blow out the ninth-ranked Wildcats 40-14.
“It’s not necessarily anything that we did (different), its just that the seniors took over,” Afton head coach Zach Gardner said.
“There weren’t any big adjustments. We made a few, but they made us look good.”
Cashion (9-3) scored on two of three series in the first half, sandwiching runs of 3 and 25 yards around a 49-yard romp by Brier Julian.
The two TDs marked just the third time all season that an opponent dinged the Eagles for first-half points.
But the game turned on a dime.
Two interceptions and two fumbles killed the Wildcats as Afton scored on each extra chance.
Quarterback Wil Amos — limited to 60 yards on 14 first half carries — got a 14-yard run four plays into the third quarter to make it a two-point game, then he added a 4-yard run with 4:27 left in the third.
That opened the floodgates.
Afton got a 23-yard run from Julian late in the third then Amos had 56- and 10-yard scoring jaunts in the fourth quarter to break the game open.
He wound up with 297 yards on 31 carries with four touchdowns.
“Wil Amos became Wil Amos,” Gardner said. “They are obviously going to key on him, but it would be just so long that they could contain him.”
Hunter Julian added 117 yards on seven carries with two TDs.
“We just had some plays go our way,” Gardner said. “We were one play away from busting the big one. Most of our games have been over at halftime.”
Seth Brown was the workhorse for Cashion, getting the call 23 times while netting 135 yards.
Quarterback Griffin Lamb was 5 of 12 passing for 31 yards and the two interceptions.
Afton travels to Minco Friday, Nov. 24, in a quarterfinal rematch of a year ago.
The Eagles squeezed out a 23-20 win in last year’s meeting in Afton.
“They graduated some skill kids, but they are huge up front and have some good players,” Gardner said. ‘We are going to be in a dogfight again.”
This in the second straight Thanksgiving weekend that Afton has still been playing.
“I told them they can have Thanksgiving for the rest of their lives. They have one more shot at the state title,” Gardner said. “They have three more weeks to hook it up.”