Photo by Carole Volpe/Hudson Street Studios ND quarterback Jimmy Fanara drops back to pass during Thursday's game in Avon.

By CHRIS METCALF

AVON — If defending sectional champion Notre Dame wasn’t on life support before the Avon game Thursday night, the Fighting Irish’s play-off hopes sure are now following their 37-6 blowout loss to the Braves in Class D action on a cold, snowy night in Livingston County.

Avon running back Thomas Welch ran for a career-high 174 yards on 20 carries with three touchdowns while QB Andrew Rowland chipped in with 54 yards rushing, one TD on the ground and another through the air to WR Roman Volpe, who also ran for 71 yards.

Unbeaten Avon (3-0) dominated this one from start to finish as they took a 23-0 lead into the intermission and then came out in the second half for more of the same as they built a 37-0 lead before the Irish finally scored late off a scrambling Jimmy Fanara fourth down and six TD pass to Alonso Storey with just over seven minutes remaining.

“The kids played very well tonight and their effort and attention to detail was spot on,” Avon head coach Andy Englert said. “But, first off I would like to thank (Avon Director of Buildings and Grounds) Tom LaGrou and his outstanding staff here at Avon for getting the field ready to play. We truly appreciate their efforts to get the field ready.”

The loss for Notre Dame (1-2) was devastating as only four teams will make the playoffs in Class D with the Irish now on the outside looking in.

Notre Dame played without a few starters including starting QB/S Colin McCulley, and lost a few more during the course of Thursday’s loss.

The Irish are scheduled to play Clyde-Savannah next Thursday and then Alexander the following week on April 15.

Avon is scheduled to play Lyons next week, but Lyons’ matchup with Alexander was canceled this week due to a lack of available Lions players.

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