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PAUL RODRIGUEZ, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Serra's Adoree' Jackson, right, steps in front of Edison's Aaron Vargas, left, to intercept a pass late in the fourth quarter to seal the win for Serra in the CIF Division II State Regional Championship game Saturday at Orange Coast College.

After dominating the first half, Edison loses control

OCVARSITY.COM

COSTA MESA — Edison found itself playing a classic game of keep away Saturday night. The thing with keep away, though, is it's tough to maintain for extended periods.

The Chargers seemed content to continue playing for the entire 48 minutes of their CIF State Division 2 Regional Bowl game against Serra of Gardena. But the game within the game ended at halftime.

Serra spent the final two quarters taking what it wanted in a 27-10 victory at Orange Coast College.

"We wanted to do for two halves what we did for one half," Edison coach Dave White said. "A team like that, they just take advantage of every mistake you make."

All but the first one.

The Chargers fumbled on their first play from scrimmage, a botched handoff. But they recovered and barely allowed Serra possession from there. Edison ran behind its brute offensive line and held the ball for six minutes and 39 seconds during a 13-play, 76-yard drive that ended in a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Alek Torgersen.

The Chargers' next drive lasted seven minutes, 41 seconds, netting them a field goal and a 10-0 lead.

By halftime, Edison's time of possession was an astounding 18:53 over the first 24 minutes.

"You couldn't ask for a better first half," said White, his Chargers moving the chains on the ground and kicking away from the Cavaliers' top returner, Marques Rodgers.

Serra, which needed just 106 seconds for its lone touchdown drive, had run all of 12 plays on offense.

"It's frustrating," Serra coach Scott Altenberg said. "But these guys have played a lot of big games. We're a good football team and I knew that 48 minutes was going to show that."

Serra received the opening kickoff and scored a touchdown a few minutes later. With Edison still looking to play keep away, the Cavaliers defense took matters into their own hands, literally.

Serra forced three turnovers in the second half. It also allowed the Chargers just three first downs. One possession lasted all of 17 seconds, with Serra linebacker Malachi Mageo returning an interception 41 yards for a touchdown.

"The second half was totally opposite," White said. "Give credit to them. They caused us a lot of problems. We knew it would be tough."

Playing keep away always is.


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