Edgewood routs Ross to clinch share of SWOC title

Edgewood's Jaquan Dailey carries the ball during their football game against Talawanda Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 at Edgewood's Kumler Field. Dailey scored a touchdown Friday in the Cougars' 42-0 win over Ross. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Edgewood's Jaquan Dailey carries the ball during their football game against Talawanda Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 at Edgewood's Kumler Field. Dailey scored a touchdown Friday in the Cougars' 42-0 win over Ross. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

TRENTON -- Edgewood wasn’t able to immediately do anything after coming up with the football following Ross’s misplay of the Cougars’ first punt of the game, but Rams’ coach Kenyon Commins was savvy enough to see what was coming on Friday night for his team.

Sure enough, Edgewood scored three second-quarter touchdowns and went on to plaster Ross 42-0, a win that guaranteed the Cougars at least a share of the Southwest Ohio Conference championship.

Running mostly behind senior right guard Radical Rothermel and sophomore right tackle Kohen Moore in their Wing-T offense on the artificial turf at Edgewood’s Kumler Field, the Cougars got two rushing touchdowns from junior running back Tavionne Crosby and one each from senior running back Jaquan Dailey and senior quarterback Eli Jones on the way to their sixth straight win.

“Our coaches do a good job of self-evaluating,” Edgewood coach Scott Clemmons said about the Cougars’ reliance on Friday of the right side of the line. “If the other team is going to give us something, we’re going to take it.”

Jones also completed a 70-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Braden Sullivan for Edgewood’s first score of the game and junior defensive back Brice Barker recovered a fumble and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown to complete the scoring after the game went to a running clock late in the third quarter.

“That was our goal going into the game – get to a running clock,” Rothermel said. “That was a lot of fun.”

Edgewood (6-2, 4-0) can earn its first outright SWOC championship since 2017 with a win at Harrison on Friday. The Cougars and Wildcats shared the 2018 SWOC championship. Edgewood also won the 2016 title.

“Harrison is another good, well-coached team,” Clemmons said. “We know they’ll be ready to play.”

Ross (6-2, 3-1), the defending outright SWOC champion, was hoping to grab at least a share of this season’s title. Instead, the Rams were shutout for the first time since a 31-0 loss at Harrison on Sept. 15, 2017. They still can forge a three-way tie for the SWOC title with a win at Mount Healthy on Friday and an Edgewood loss at Harrison.

The shutout win was Edgewood’s first since winning, 35-0, at Northwest on Sept. 20, 2019. The Cougars, who snapped a three-game losing streak in the series, went into the game ranked seventh in the Division II, Region 8 Harbin computer ratings.

Ross, ranked third in the Division III, Region 12 Harbin computer ratings and No. 8 in the Associated Press Division III state poll going into the game, was leading the SWOC with averages of 372.0 total yards and 325.9 rushing yards per game. The Cougars’ defense, ranked No. 1 in the conference in all categories, limited the Rams to 147 yards, all on the ground, .

“Anything I say now would sound like an excuse,” Commins said. “The bottom line is they just were better than us. They’re really good. They just out-physicaled us. We just couldn’t get out of our own way.”

Junior Layne Howell recovered a fumble on Ross’ first play after Edgewood’s first touchdown, and Jones converted the turnover with his 4-yard run around right end to complete an eight-play drive with 6:35 left in the second quarter. The Rams seemed determined to get back into the game with their initial third-quarter possession and converted one fourth down, but Dailey stopped Aidan Brown for a three-yard loss on a second fourth-down shot at Edgewood’s 37 and the Cougars scored second seven plays later on the way to taking a commanding 28-0 lead.

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