There was some debate about which team had the best defense in the county. Edison settled that debate with its dominating effort in its 28-10 victory over Villa Park in the CIF-SS Southwest Division championship on Friday night in front of 9,807 at Angel Stadium.
Edison won its first championship since sharing the Big-Five title with Long Beach Poly in 1985 after a 14-14 tie. Edison's last outright championship was in 1980 when it beat Fountain Valley, 14-0, in the Big-Five title game.
The Chargers forced five turnovers against Villa Park, including interceptions by Kiante Goudeau, Donald Rice, Jeremy Maxwell and Dylan Luther.
DE Derek Baljeu, LB Elijah Herrera, LB Trento Aschoff and LB Robert Reyes all played like All-County candidates that they are. Aschoff was ferocious on the pass rush and finished with 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. Aschoff also had a fumble recovery. Baljeau delivered some bone-jarring hits. LB Donald Rice led the way with 8 total tackles.
Villa Park RB Meki Tafuna had been tearing it up in the playoffs, but once again the Edison D dropped the hammer on the 6-1, 225-pounder. Edison limited Tafuna to 64 yards on 19 carries when the Chargers beat the Spartans, 27-7, on Sept. 6. This time, the Chargers held Tafuna to 37 yards on 16 carries.
The Edison D also put some points on the scoreboard, recording two safeties.
Edison QB Aleksander Torgersen wasn't super accurate with his passes and his receivers had a number of drops, but Torgersen was effective moving the ball on the ground with some nice scrambles and QB keepers. The 6-3, 215-pounder showed his toughness by breaking tackles and picking up some key first downs to keep key Charger drives alive. He also scored on a 25-yard TD run.
Edison stayed in the hunt for a state bowl game bid. The Chargers look like the favorites to pick up an invite to next week's CIF state Division 2 regional.