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Defense sends Edison charging into playoffs
HUNTINGTON BEACH - Edison coach Dave White has maintained throughout his 27-year tenure that the primary goal is to win the Sunset League.
Mission accomplished, thanks to a 34-0 victory against Huntington Beach on Friday in the regular-season finale at Huntington Beach High.
Now it's on the next one. Or, in White's case, the elusive one: his first CIF title.
"League is everything for us," White said. "That was the No. 1 goal. But now, this team has a little bit bigger sights. They also want to see if we can get to the CIF finals and take our chances there. It's been a good year. Now the fun starts. We have big expectations this year."
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No. 4 Edison (9-1, 5-0), the top-rated team in the CIF-SS Southwest Division, is expected to earn the top seed when Sunday's playoff pairings are announced. No. 15 Huntington Beach (5-5, 3-2), rated No. 6 in the division, is the league's third-place representative and will play a road game next week, likely against a league champion.
"I feel like there are about eight teams that can win (the division)," White said. "There could be four Sunset League teams in the quarterfinals. You never know."
Edison's winning formula Friday was the same as it has been all season: defense.
The Chargers recorded their fifth shutout of the season, a school record. It was the eighth time they held an opponent to a touchdown or less. Three of their shutouts came in league play, where they allowed 17 points overall.
Huntington Beach compiled 122 yards of total offense and went three-and-out five times and four-and-out once. The Oilers had just one first down in the second half. Chargers defensive end Derek Baljeu led the charge up front with 3ï€¶1/2 sacks. Linebacker Elijah Herrera had an interception to set up a touchdown in the second quarter.
"Our D was lights out," White said. "It all starts with the D. It's been 10 games of greatness with them."
Greatness aptly described the play of Edison receiver Trevor Borkowski as well. The senior caught five passes for 192 yards and a touchdown, including an 89-yard reception in the first quarter to set up the Chargers' first touchdown.
In the second quarter, Borkowski made what might have been the play of the night when he tipped an Alek Torgersen pass and, after two Oilers defenders also tipped it, came down with the ball while falling into the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown.
Torgersen needed just eight completions, on 16 attempts, to pass for 261 yards. He also ran for two touchdowns.
"(Borkowski) is a good athlete," White said. "He's a senior that has worked hard. Alek made a couple big throws when he had to. Our offense was hit and miss. But it's 34-0. We're doing something right. We're finishing. We're a very good second half team this year."
Edison claimed the league title for the seventh time in eight years, and went unbeaten for the second consecutive year.
"We have high goals at this school," White said. "League champs is the No. 1 goal. Now it's a new season. We've got to refocus."