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Edison's charged-up defense too much for Buena Park
HUNTINGTON BEACH – Edison’s defense and Kenny Carmichael made sure the Chargers and Coach Dave White have special plans next week.
Behind a dominating performance by the defensive end, the Chargers forced three turnovers that became two touchdowns in a 38-21 victory against Buena Park in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 3 playoffs Friday night at Huntington Beach High.
No. 2 seed Edison (11-1) advanced to next week’s semifinals at Rancho Verde, which beat Cathedral.
The semifinal will allow the retiring White to play in front of his sons, Matt, Hunter, and, Garrett. And the Chargers will practice on Thanksgiving, which is Carmichael’s birthday.
“I was just hoping for a birthday present to be able to practice with my team,” said Carmichael, who racked up 4.5 sacks, forced a fumble that was returned for a TD and made an interception that led to another touchdown.
“We know it’s Coach White’s last year. We want to go out with a bang with him.”
Carmichael did his part, setting single-season (17) and career Edison records (25.5) for sacks. He also blocked for his brother, Jack, who scored on two runs.
Speedsters Jeremiah Hawkins and Victor Bates broke long run for scores for Buena Park (10-2). And the Coyotes’ defense also played well, recording five sacks and had a fumble recovery in the end zone by Cedric Dashiell II.
But Edison’s defense emerged as the top unit in the game.
“Our defense played fantastic,” Dave White said. “Kenny Carmichael has a great year. He’s had a great two years. He’s just one of those kids who has a motor.”
Edison sealed the victory on a 3-yard TD run by Jack Carmichael, who made it 38-21 with 2:15 left. The Chargers’ drive was extended by a roughing the punter penalty and a fourth-and-1 conversion by quarterback Griffin O’Connor.
Bates had trimmed the Edison’s lead to 31-21 on a 95-yard TD reception on a short receiver screen from JD Rafkin.
The Chargers also answered Dashiell’s recovery with a 71-yard TD strike from O’Connor to Shaun Colamonico with 1:38 left in the third.
“I was extremely proud of our players. They played hard all the way through,” Buena Park coach Anthony White said.
Edison turned two first-half turnovers into 14 points en route to a 24-7 lead at halftime.
Kenny Carmichael forced the first turnover on Buena Park’s second play from scrimmage, leaping for an interception at the Buena Park 23.
Four plays later, O’Connor threw a 10-yard TD pass to David Atencio, who caught a deflection off a Buena Park defender.
After a season-long 42-yard field goal by Jack Morrell early in the second period extended Edison’s lead to 10-0, Kenny Carmichael struck again.
The senior forced a fumble that fellow defensive lineman Parker Thomas returned 19 yards for a TD.
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