Edison's Luke Gane celebrates with teammates after the Chargers' 14-7 victory over Fountain Valley. Gane is battling aplastic anemia, a rare condition in which a body stops producing enough new blood cells.

Edison inspired by battling teammate

Edison inspired by battling teammate
Luke Gane, who is recovering from aplastic anemia, attends the Chargers' big victory over Fountain Valley.

COSTA MESA- Edison players sprinted toward the north end zone for the bell trophy after rallying past archrival Fountain Valley, 14-7, on Friday night. But the real celebration started a few moments later when Luke Gane joined the fray.

Clad in his white No. 55 jersey, the Edison junior joined the on-field celebration at Orange Coast College with his teammates.

Gane is battling aplastic anemia, a rare condition in which a body stops producing enough new blood cells. Friday marked the first game he has attended this season.

“Luke! Luke! Luke!” the Edison crowd cheered.

Edison coach Dave White then joined Gane in front of the Edison faithful and pointed to the player as if to say that Gane was the real winner Friday night. Gane then pointed toward his teammates, who beat Fountain Valley for the fourth consecutive season.

And before long, Gane was hoisted on the shoulders of a few of his teammates.

“We love this kid so much,” White said. “It’s just so great having him here and obviously winning is even special for him. We’ve been dedicating this whole season to him.

Gane had a bone marrow transplant in the summer and said his recovery is going well. He wore a mask over his mouth to avoid picking up an infection Friday night.

“I had to come to this one,” said Gane, a junior lineman. “I’m overwhelmed.”

White said the Chargers have been inspired by Gane’s positive approach toward fighting his condition. Edison certainly needed that inspiration after a challenging first half.

Fountain Valley held Edison to 18 yards in a scoreless first half.

But Edison rallied in the second half and there were several bounce-back performances.

Quarterback Matt Viles recovered from several hard hits to pass for 132 of his 135 yards in the final two quarters. He also tossed two touchdowns in the final six minutes.

“He got drilled a bunch of times,” White said of Viles, who was sacked three times and fumbled once. “(But he) kept playing.”

Edison running back Wade Houston showed a never-say-die attitude. Fountain Valley appeared headed to a 14-0 lead when Scot Bailey intercepted Viles at Edison’s 47 early in the fourth and streaked toward the end zone.

But Houston tripped Bailey from behind at the 22 to save a touchdown. The Barons then missed a short field.

After the game, Houston was on crutches.

“My ankle was done but I knew if I could get that stop, our defense could get that stop and they did,” Houston said. “I knew I could catch him and kept running.”

And there was Michael Rivera, a junior wideout who made the winning touchdown catch with some fancy footwork along the side of the end zone.

Earlier this season in a loss against Servite, Rivera dropped a key pass that might have turned the game around.

Said White of his team Friday: “We just never quit.”

Just like their inspiring teammate.

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