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Fryer: Chargers can't slow their fastest foe
COSTA MESA – Observations from the Edison-Serra of Gardena CIF Division 2 State Regionals Bowl Game ...
•Edison played some very good teams this season but had not seen a team of Serra of Garden's overall team speed in the previous 14 games. Serra was especially quick on defense, the best side of the football to have that advantage. Sure, Serra's speed created some big offensive plays in the Cavaliers' 27-10 victory Saturday at Orange Coast College. But it was their rapid defensive pursuit that plugged holes on Edison running plays and kept Chargers quarterback Alek Torgersen on the move on passing plays.
•The best team Edison had played before Saturday was Mater Dei. That was the only other loss this season for the Chargers, who finished 13-2. Mater Dei was a big, strong team but did not have the sprinters that Serra put on the field.
•Edison will have a good corps of returnees in 2013. Jeremy Maxwell, a junior receiver and defensive back, might have been the Chargers' fastest player this season. Three starters on Edison's excellent offensive line were juniors, guard Tico Fuga, center David Siliuta and tackle Jesse Sosebee, and junior Kiante Goudreau was a standout at defensive back.
•Elijah Herrera, one of Edison's senior leaders and equally effective at running back and linebacker, played Saturday through a sprained ankle. He incurred the injury in the Chargers' CIF-SS Southwest Division championship game victory last week against Villa Park at Angel Stadium. He did not have a carry at running back but did play on many of Edison's defensive series.
Edison's ball-control style was on fine display in the first half. The Chargers' had the ball for 18:53 of the first half's 24 minutes.
•Edison had a crisp week of practice, remarkable for two reasons: 1. It has been a long season, with Saturday's game being the Chargers' 15th of 2012; and, 2. Edison was coming off of a CIF championship-game victory, which provided an opportunity for the Chargers to be satisfied, but they worked during the week like they wanted to achieve even more.
•Bill Workman, who coached Edison to a couple of CIF championships before stepping aside in the late 1980s to be replaced by current coach Dave White, said this year's Chargers team compared favorably with the better ones he coached. "We always had great skill-position athletes," said Workman, who had one of the county's top all-time running backs, Kerwin Bell, at Edison in the late 1970s. "But these big offensive linemen now at Edison? We never had those."
•Workman, who is 71 but looks to be in his late 50s, is a regular visitor at Edison football games. He has a decades-long close relationship with White, who played quarterback for Workman at Edison. "He's the son I never had," Workman said. "We've been through a lot together."
•Edison had allowed only 90 points over the 14 games it played going into the Regionals, for an average of only 6.4 points a game. They recorded five shutouts, and only three opponents had scored into double figures against the Chargers. The 27 points Serra scored Saturday was the most Edison allowed this season.
•A familiar Edison name, on special teams Saturday — Jake Favreau. His older brother Chase Favreau was Edison's starting quarterback last season and was Sunset League most valuable player.
•Torgersen was as good running the ball this season as throwing it. He was a fine punter, too. Torgersen had a punt of 54 yards in the second quarter Saturday.
•Serra sophomore running back Malik Robertson rushed for 79 yards on nine carries. That was a quite a drop in production from Robertson's previous two games. He had 22 carries for 104 yards and two touchdowns in the Cavaliers' 30-28 victory over Chaminade of West Hills in last week's CIF-SS Western Division championship game and rushed for 197 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries in a 34-21 victory over Lompoc the previous week in the semifinals.
•Serra had zero penalties in the first half and had only one for 6 yards in the second half. Edison was penalized six times, but not for large yardage — only 33 total yards in penalties.
•The game featured an officiating crew from a variety of officials associations. The referee was from the Los Angeles officials association. Of the other four officials, two were from the San Diego association, one was from the Orange County association and the other from San Gabriel Valley.
•Game officials are observed and graded all season. The higher-graded officials are invited to work their area's playoff games, and the highest-graded officials are selected for section championship games. Dean Crowley, former CIF-Southern Section commissioner who now is part of the CIF State's football championships management team, said the group selected to work Saturday's Edison-Serra game and other Regionals games were "the best of the best."
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