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Line play makes the difference for Edison
COSTA MESA - The equation in football normally has been a successful rushing attack along with a smash-mouth defense leads to deep runs in the playoffs.
Not only is that an equation Edison used Friday night to sneak past Foothill, 22-16, in a CIF-SS Southwest semifinal game, but it also is the style of play that has given the Chargers an opportunity to make this season a memorable one.
“Our offensive and defensive line has carried us all year,” Edison coach Dave White said. “I think we did wear them down. We’re a little bigger, and we also stopped shooting ourselves in the foot late.”
After forcing a crucial 3-and-out, Edison regained possession at the Knights' 41, trailing 16-14 with 2:20 to play. The Chargers (12-1) fed the ball to running backs Elijah Herrera and Donald Rice. Behind its mauling offensive line, the duo needed only 40 seconds and a combined three carries to score.
Rice put the Chargers ahead for good on an 8-yard TD run and added a 2-point conversion.
“We hadn’t been in a game this close, and we needed to win,” said Rice. “The offensive line goes hard. That’s what they know how to do.”
Foothill would have an opportunity to score the winning touchdown, but the Edison defense showed why it is statistically the best defense in Orange County.
Senior defensive end Trenton Aschoff sacked Foothill quarterback Jack Gilchrist, and two plays later Robert Reyes intercepted a Gilchrist pass to seal the victory.
“We got down into some tough situations, but we held our own,” Aschoff said. “We’re a band of brothers. It’s not a bunch of individuals out there, it’s a unit.”
Aschoff and the defense have performed at a high level all season, entering the game having allowed only eight touchdowns.
Foothill took a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter, but the Chargers defense made up for that by scoring a touchdown.
Defensive back Kiante Goudeau picked up a fumble and ran it in from 20 yards out, tying the score at 7 five minutes into the second quarter.
“We like to get the ball lose, and score. It’s what we do,” Aschoff said.
It was the third consecutive week the Chargers defense scored a touchdown. On the season, Edison has scored seven defensive touchdowns.
Edison will face familiar foe Villa Park next week at Angel Stadium in the title game.