Edgewood High School’s football team buried visiting Little Miami on Friday night, then found out that it had made history.
The Cougars stormed to 27 points in the first quarter en route to a 55-14 triumph over the Panthers at Kumler Field and clinched at least a share of their first Southwest Ohio Conference title when Harrison edged Mount Healthy 49-48.
It was the Owls’ first loss of the season, and they will close the regular season at Edgewood next Friday.
“Our boys have done a great job all season and offseason,” Cougars coach Scott Clemmons said before hearing about the Mount Healthy defeat. “You want to be in a position to play for a championship in Week 10, so that’s what we’ve done. Until somebody beats them, they’re the champs.”
Edgewood put up 444 total yards, 296 in the first quarter, and was never threatened by Little Miami in boosting its record to 7-2 overall and 5-0 in the SWOC.
Thomas Lindsay ran three times for 159 yards for the Cougars, scoring on bursts of 90 and 65 yards.
“The willy (play) took me for 90 yards,” Lindsay said. “It was nice. We’ve run it a ton this year … first time we got that far though. I’d like to give a shoutout to all my linemen, but specifically to Hunter Boggs and Greg Dingledine. They both want a shoutout, so shoutout to you two.”
Drew Reckart converted 3 of 6 passes for 105 yards. All three completions were hauled in by Eddie Driskell and went for touchdowns, two in the first period.
“We made a conscious effort to stack the deck against the run,” first-year Panthers coach Nate Mahon said. “We knew Reckart and Driskell could hurt us, but we weren’t going to stop everything, so we sold out to stop the run and they got us on a couple of passes and a couple of quarterback keeps. Reckart’s really good.
“We fought hard and came back, but sometimes the other team’s just better than you. And they’re way better than us.”
Lucas Patten, the SWOC’s leading rusher, was held to 59 yards on 19 carries. Patten and Jacob Shirey ran for touchdowns for Little Miami (3-6, 1-5), while Cody Bailey totaled 123 yards on 18-of-26 passing.
Devon Garrett (10 carries, 88 yards, TD), Reckart (four carries, 61 yards) and Carroll Moore (three carries, 30 yards, TD) contributed to Edgewood’s ground attack.
“The O-line did a great job blocking, and Drew threw some nice balls to Eddie once again,” Clemmons said.
Dylan Crouch and Jake Paulsen came up with interceptions for the hosts, and Dingledine added a sack. Crouch returned his pick 31 yards for a score in the fourth stanza.
“The ball just kind of landed in my hands,” Crouch said. “It was like me, Greg (Dingledine) and Evan Brown against pretty much their whole team. I was going to score. We have to find a way to the end zone.
“I’d like to give a shoutout to the front nine that we have in the box because they just shut down that run, and when they did try to pass it, good things like that ended up happening.”
Clemmons wasn’t thrilled with the Cougars’ performance in the second quarter and let them know about it at halftime. The Panthers won that period 7-0.
“We got a little sloppy and gave up some field position and some easy plays,” Clemmons said. “Give Little Miami some credit as well. They’re hungry. Nate’s over there coaching those guys and doing a good job.”
Crouch said the EHS players clearly got the message at intermission.
“He was just giving us a little kick in the butt because he knows how we can play,” Crouch added, “and we weren’t living up to those standards. We came out with great energy and got a great stop coming out in the second half. After that, our momentum just kicked back up.”
Said Lindsay, “We got a little full of ourselves, honestly. We thought we were going to walk out there and win, but Little Miami did show us that we can’t do that. And especially we can’t do that against a team like Mount Healthy.”
Edgewood has set a regular-season school record for points with 381, and the Cougars will look to add to that total against the Owls. The old mark was 380 in 2008.
The SWOC title chase could result in a three-way tie. Mount Healthy and Harrison are both 4-1 in conference play, and HHS visits Northwest next Friday.
“I believe that we’re ready,” Crouch said. “We want this shot. This is what we’ve worked for.”
The Panthers are finished with SWOC competition and will host unbeaten Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in Week 10.
Mahon said Friday’s game did produce some positives for his squad, which he still believes is on the upswing.
“We grew up a little bit tonight,” Mahon said. “Our mantra has been that we’re not going to be the Little Miami of old. The score looked like that tonight, but we’re not quitting. We’re playing four quarters, every play, the whole game. I’m proud that we keep hanging around. We’re going to keep plugging away next week.”
Little Miami 0-7-0-7—14
E: Devon Garrett 1 run (Pass failed)
E: Eddie Driskell 38 pass from Drew Reckart (Julian Pletz kick)
E: Thomas Lindsay 90 run (Pletz kick)
E: Driskell 63 pass from Reckart (Pletz kick)
L: Lucas Patten 5 run (Chad Mirolo kick)
E: Carroll Moore 24 run (Pletz kick)
E: Driskell 4 pass from Reckart (Pletz kick)
E: Lindsay 65 run (Pletz kick)
E: Dylan Crouch 31 interception return (Pletz kick)
L: Jacob Shirey 1 run (Mirolo kick)