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Edison's O'Connor accounts for 7 TDs
HUNTINGTON BEACH – Griffin O'Connor threw for four touchdowns and ran for three more Friday night as Edison extended legendary coach Dave White's career another week by pulling away to a 49-24 triumph over Newbury Park in a CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoff opener at Huntington Beach High School.
O'Connor topped 200 yards for the fourth straight game, completing 18 of 35 throws for 245 yards, and Jack Carmichael gained most of his 108 yards on 10 carries with a 57-yard sprint to set up the Chargers' final score.
Edison (10-1), which claimed its first playoff victory since reaching the Southwest Division semifinals three years ago, will be home for the quarterfinals against Buena Park, tentatively next Friday night at Orange Coast College. The Coyotes topped San Juan Hills, 20-7.
“They have athletes, they've got some weapons,” said White, who claimed his 235th win in 31 seasons with the Chargers. “We were worried they were going to make some plays, and they did. But we made more, I guess. ... There's no way they're the 15th-best team in this division, but glad we got them over with.”
Newbury Park (7-4) was limited without Oklahoma-bound Cameron Rising, one of the nation's top quarterbacks, but sophomore Braden Handy threw for 228 yards, a good deal of it on a 68-yard touchdown pass to Ian Albaeck on the Panthers' final offensive play.
O'Connor started slowly, throwing an interception at the Edison 17 after collecting on a bounce a snap over his head on the game's first play from scrimmage. Josh Madison pushed in from 2 yards six plays later to give Newbury Park the lead, but O'Connor connected on two long passes, the second to Shaun Colamonico in the end zone, as the Chargers pulled even just 44 seconds later.
O'Connor hit Colamonico again near the end of the quarter for the lead, then hit Carmichael for a score for a 21-7 advantage. Newbury Park rallied within four points on a field goal and Ryan Matlock's 37-yard run, but the Panthers failed on a fake punt, leading to O'Connor's first TD run. before Edison stopped them on three plays inside the 5 in the final 18 seconds of the half.
O'Connor hooked up with E.J. Ginnis midway through the third quarter, then finished two drives with short TD bursts as the Chargers pushed their advantage to 49-17.