The Edgewood High School football team saw its four-game winning streak snapped Friday night as the host Cougars dropped a 28-3 decision to Columbus DeSales at Kumler Field.
Thirty minutes of a near-stalemate suddenly became a DeSales rout in the second half. The Stallions, with a more balanced offensive approach, outgained Edgewood 208-96 in total yards after the break.
“We told our boys all week that they are a great football team and it was going to take a great effort tonight,” EHS coach Scott Clemmons said. “I thought we played a great game tonight. The kids played their hearts out and did everything that we asked them to do. I am proud of them.”
Julian Pletz’s 46-yard field goal as time expired in the first half opened the scoring and gave Edgewood (5-2) its only points of the night. The Cougars would not record another first down until their sixth drive of the second half when they trailing 28-3.
The Stallions (5-2), a run-oriented team much like Edgewood, erased their 3-0 deficit just 1:04 into the second half.
DeSales senior quarterback Cole Silvestri, who threw just two passes in the first half, completed three straight passes to open the second half, connecting with Carter Hilleary for a 44-yard catch-and-run touchdown.
“We thought we had to loosen them up a little bit,” Stallions coach Ryan Wiggins said. “We thought there were some areas on the perimeter where they were getting a little nosy, and we had to try to take advantage of it.”
Silvestri converted 5 of his 12 pass attempts for 121 yards. He also rushed for 32 yards on three attempts, including a 9-yard scramble on third down to continue a scoring drive that was capped off by Joey Velazquez’s 2-yard TD run that gave the Stallions a 14-3 lead.
Velazquez carried nine times for 48 yards. His 23-yard touchdown burst iced the game and rounded out the evening’s scoring.
Senior running back and linebacker Brian Asamoah, a future Oklahoma Sooner, was the statistical standout of the contest for DeSales, rushing for 76 yards on 15 carries and a 30-yard touchdown that extended the Stallions’ lead to 21-3 in the fourth.
“He (Asamoah) is a really good player and a special athlete, especially when he is fresh,” Wiggins said. “When we’re executing on the offensive line and he gets the ball going downhill, good things happen.”
Edgewood was led by the junior backfield duo of Wade Phillips and Elijah Williams. Entering Friday, Phillips and Williams had accounted for 1,294 of Edgewood’s 1,865 rushing yards.
Phillips led all rushers Friday, gaining 84 yards on 22 carries. Williams picked up 64 yards on 15 runs.
“They ran hard tonight, and our offensive line played well too,” Clemmons said. “There were just moments where we kind of stalled on ourselves.”
Edgewood attempted to mix in more passing than usual in an effort to keep pace with the Stallions, but were unable to match the results through the air. Corbin Craft, who had thrown just 25 total passes before Friday, completed 2 of 7 attempts for 17 yards and a late interception.
“We played Edgewood football tonight, which is what we came out here to do,” Phillips said. “We gave it our all. We’re just going to keep working hard and practicing. We’ll put this behind us.”
Wiggins’ squad is back on the road to face Columbus Hartley in a key Division III, Region 11 contest next Friday. Edgewood remains tied with Mount Healthy atop the Southwest Ohio Conference standings and hosts winless Talawanda in Week 8.
“Edgewood is a Division II playoff team,” Wiggins said. “I have a lot of respect for what they do here. They are a very well-coached team that I believe will give teams problems in the playoffs, just like they gave us problems tonight.”
“We have three big league games left to finish out our season,” Clemmons said. “Like I told the boys after the game tonight, this season’s not over. This chapter is done, but a new chapter waits for us next week.”
E: Julian Pletz 46 field goal
D: Carter Hilleary 44 pass from Cole Silvestri (Hector Gomez kick)
D: Joey Velazquez 2 run (Gomez kick)
D: Brian Asamoah 30 run (Gomez kick)
D: Velazquez 23 run (Gomez kick)