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Edison defense steps up, stops Los Alamitos
LONG BEACH – The Edison defensive unit had to make the night uncomfortable for the Los Alamitos offense, and aside from the opening drive, things went according to plan.
The Chargers harassed quarterback Hayden Smith and did a great job containing Dylan Laurent, and it added up to a 17-9 road victory for the sixth-ranked Chargers on Friday night in a Sunset League game at Veterans Stadium.
“That first drive (of the game) I think they went 70 yards and we couldn’t stop them,” Edison coach Dave White said. “I’m going this is going to be a long night. After that, it (the defense) was unbelievable.
“That team had been scoring a lot of points against JSerra and Long Beach Poly, good teams, La Habra … Our defense played so hard. I’m really proud of them.”
Edison (6-1, 2-0) led, 10-9, at halftime and scored the only touchdown and points in the second half on a 12-yard pass from Griffin O’Connor to EJ Ginnis.
After that, the defense took over and shut down the ninth-ranked Griffins (4-3, 1-1).
Edison forced Los Alamitos into 10 plays of negative yards in the second half. Junior defensive end Parker Thomas led the charge with three sacks.
“We’ve been working hard all week,” Thomas said. “We knew they were going to run to fly sweep outside, all that tricky stuff. Our ends were widening out, making sure we were there and making them force inside.
“We were ready. We came out in the second half and smacked them in the mouth.”
The Chargers recorded eight sacks, with senior defensive end Kenny Carmichael coming away with two.
The Griffins began the scoring with an impressive opening drive, moving the ball quickly in seven running plays, leading to a 3-yard touchdown run from Keanu Norman. The Griffins failed to convert the extra point for a 6-0 lead.
Edison took the lead for good in the second quarter on a 26-yard touchdown run by Jack Carmichael.
The teams traded field goals in the second quarter, with Edison emerging with a 10-9 halftime lead. The Griffins ended the half with a 17-play drive that ended with a 34-yard field goal from Zack Ruiz.
The Chargers held Laurent to 19 yards rushing and a negative 8-yards receiving. Los Alamitos quarterback Hayden Smith completed 10 of 26 passes for 76 yards.
“They’re extremely well-coached,” Los Alamitos coach Ray Fenton said of Edison. “He’s as good as anybody designing his defense. Their guys did a great job.
“It is one game in our season. Today is not life or death, it just feels that way. It is not life or death. We have to show up Monday ready to work. Let’s put the game behind us and move forward.”
The victory puts the Chargers in commanding position for the Sunset League title in White’s final year.
“One step closer, we still have two games, but it was a big step,” White said. “That was a big step because that’s a good team.”
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