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EHS and College Football Round-up

Gabe Camarillo, Freelance Staff Writer

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Two Friday’s ago, the Edison Tigers went to Veterans Memorial Stadium to take on one of the Central Valley’s best football teams, the Buchanan Bears. Edison’s game plan heading into the game was to continue to let playmakers like Tory Horton, McKinley Lee, and Veltray Jefferson fuel the offense as they did in the win over Clovis West, while the defense focused on trying to limit any big plays by Buchanan. Alas, by the end of the first quarter, it became obvious that they could not keep up with Buchanan’s stars, as the Bears took a quick 28-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, defeating the Tigers by a score of 45-6.

 

The Bears scored on their very first play from scrimmage, with Jalen Cropper showing off his speed and agility with a 70-yard touchdown run. After the Tigers couldn’t answer on the next drive, Brock Jones was able to return Edison’s punt 40 yards to put Buchanan in great field position to score another touchdown, which they would do with running back Kendall Milton’s 7-yard scamper into the endzone. History would then seem to repeat itself: Edison would be forced to punt after another three-and-out, Jones would return the punt to just outside Edison’s 20-yard-line, and Milton would score his second touchdown of the game to make it 21-0. Buchanan would score one more touchdown before the end of the first quarter, a 13-yard scramble by quarterback D.J Stevenson to conclude the flurry of scoring. Buchanan’s first four drives ended in touchdown runs, and Kendall Milton would even add another touchdown in the second quarter with a 15-yard rush through Edison’s defense, totaling three touchdowns on the day for the star junior running back who showed the Tigers why he has already received scholarship offers from big-name colleges.

 

Even when the Bears extended their lead to 45-0, the Tigers still fought on and never gave up on Head Coach Atnaf Harris. Edison would improve on the offensive woes that plagued the first half, and after coming close to scoring at the end of the third quarter, they would be able to put together a 65-yard drive in the fourth quarter that would end with quarterback Jameson Silva connecting with wide receiver Tory Horton for a 19-yard touchdown. Although Edison lost by a large margin, their late touchdown showed that they could indeed score on one of the Valley’s best defenses, and proved that these young Tigers could learn from their mistakes and grow. The next game for Edison (1-2) will again be at Veterans Memorial Stadium this Friday, as they take on the Clovis North Broncos (1-1), in a rematch of last year’s playoff battle. Meanwhile, Buchanan (3-0) will travel down to Bakersfield to face the Liberty High Patriots (2-1).

 

While there was a ton of high school football action on Friday, there was even more football on Saturday, as the 2018 college football season kicked off. There were lots of big games on the slate to open the year; Here are the five most significant results to come out of Week 1:

 

Maryland 34, #23 Texas 29 It was an emotionally draining offseason for Maryland  players, who saw teammate Jordan McNair die of heatstroke during a grueling summer practice, and then a subsequent NCAA investigation into player abuse by the coaching staff. That investigation would lead to head coach D.J Durkin being placed on administrative leave, which would shoehorn first-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada into the head coaching position. With all this turmoil considered, it was widely believed that the nationally-ranked Texas Longhorns would begin this highly anticipated season with a strong start. Instead, the Longhorns suffered a rude awakening, as the Terrapins jumped on the Longhorns to go up 24-7 halfway through the second quarter. Jeshaun Jones did it all for the Terrapins in the early going, first rushing for a 28-yard touchdown, then catching a 65-yard bomb for another touchdown, and then finally throwing a 20-yard touchdown pass. It would be playmaking by Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger and a potent rushing attack that would bring the Longhorns back and put them ahead 29-24, but after a brief weather delay, Maryland would jump ahead for good with a 17-yard rushing touchdown by Tayon Fleet-Davis.

 

#25 LSU 33, #8 Miami 17 The second of the two biggest upsets of the weekend came from Dallas, Texas, where LSU thoroughly dominated a Hurricanes team that was coming off a 10-win season and led by talented returning quarterback Malik Rosier. Rosier suffered through a terrible night passing the ball, totaling more incompletions (20) than completions (15) and tossing two interceptions, one of which was taken all the way back by LSU linebacker Jacob Phillips for a touchdown. LSU’s other two touchdowns came from running back Nick Brousette, who continued the succession of prominent LSU running backs of past years by rushing for 125 yards on 22 carries and tallying scores from 5 and 50 yards out. It seems that, once again, LSU will be a force opponents cannot take lightly this year, with their usual formula of an effective rushing attack and stingy defense.

 

#12 Notre Dame 24, #14 Michigan 17 One of college football’s most storied rivalries was resumed Saturday night as the Fighting Irish and Wolverines went toe to toe for the first time since 2014. Notre Dame opened the game with a touchdown on the opening drive of the game, with Jafar Armstrong rumbling through the Michigan defense for a 13-yard score. As if that didn’t get the Notre Dame crowd riled up, Fighting Irish quarterback Brandon Wimbush found Chris Finke for a 43-yard touchdown that put the crowd in further delirium. This made it even harder for Michigan to get anything going offensively, and it seemed their offensive line was rattled most of all, as they consistently let Irish defenders get to quarterback Shea Patterson. Save for a 99-yard kick return by Ambry Thomas in the second quarter and a garbage-time touchdown run by Karan Higdon in the fourth quarter, the Wolverines could not find a way to score and this would be their downfall.

 

#9 Auburn 21, #6 Washington 16 With the game located at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Georgia, the game was a de facto home game for Auburn, as their fans packed the stands and outnumbered Washington fans for this matchup of top-ten teams. That would come into play, as this was a game where both teams seemed to be evenly matched and neither could get separation from the other. Auburn burst out of the gates to start the game, stopping Washington on its first drive, and then scoring on their own first drive with the help of an acrobatic touchdown catch by Sal Canella. Following a missed two-point conversion by Auburn would be a back-and-forth exchange of field goals, to make the score 15-6, before Washington closed the second half with four straight completions by quarterback Jake Browning leading to a touchdown to cut the deficit to two. The second half would be plagued by turnovers and inconsistent play by both teams, and even though Washington would kick yet another field goal to take their first lead of the game, Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham would head a 10-play drive in the fourth quarter leading to the game-winning touchdown.

 

#20 Virginia Tech 24, #19 Florida State 3 Playing on Labor Day, under the lights of Doak Campbell Stadium, Willie Taggart seemed to have a miserable time in his first game as Florida State’s head coach, as the Seminoles could not find any kind of rhythm against a ferocious Virginia Tech defense, spearheaded by the legendary defensive coordinator Bud Foster. Seminole quarterback Deondre Francois was intercepted three times, three of five total turnovers forced by the Hokies, who faced their own woes on offense throughout the game. However, unlike Francois, Hokies quarterback Josh Jackson was able to take care of the ball and not turn it over, allowing him to finish drives and end up with two passing touchdowns to his name. Another one of the Hokies’ difference makers in the game was junior receiver Eric Kumah, who had four catches for 86 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown reception where he broke several tackles, and made a huge special teams play in the second quarter where he blocked a Florida State punt and ran it into the endzone for another touchdown.

 

Now, to close, some words from Edison’s very own football coach, Atnaf Harris:

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Tiger Pride with Coach Harris

“You cannot do anything about yesterday. The door to the past has been shut and the key has been thrown away.”

In order to improve yourself, whether as an athlete or just a person, you cannot spend so much time dwelling on past mistakes. Too often, we get distracted by what is outside of our control. You just can’t do anything about the past. Also, on that note, you can’t change the future either, because that is yet the come. However, tomorrow is determined in large part by what you do today.

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EHS and College Football Round-up