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Prep football: Edgewood blanks Panthers to boost SWOC, playoff hopes

ST. CLAIR TWP. — Edgewood High School’s football team shined in a cold rain Friday night, blanking visiting Little Miami 20-0 in a Southwest Ohio Conference showdown at Kumler Field.

The Cougars, 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the SWOC, control their own destiny in the Division II, Region 8 playoff race, according to www.joeeitel.com.

And with a home victory over Mount Healthy next Friday in the regular-season finale, Edgewood can do no worse than a share of its third straight conference title. Harrison is also 4-1 in SWOC play and hosts Northwest in Week 10.

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“We aren’t done yet,” said Cougars senior fullback Elijah Williams, who ran for two touchdowns Friday. “We’re just going to go out there, try and pound the ball, and do what we do best.”

Edgewood’s defense was outstanding against Little Miami (7-2, 4-2). The Panthers managed just one first down in the first half.

“The defense really flew around tonight,” Cougars coach Scott Clemmons said. “Every week is a different person. We never know who stands out defensively.”

The hosts led 6-0 at halftime on the strength of a 4-yard touchdown run by Williams on Edgewood’s second possession. Only at the end of the half did Little Miami threaten to score, but penalties and a quarterback sack thwarted that drive.

“We knew it was going to be a hard game all week,” Clemmons said. “We told our boys that we have to step up, and they did a great job tonight. We made some adjustments during halftime, and the defense did a great job.”

The Panthers made some adjustments as well and used the Wildcat formation more after the break, utilizing the speed and agility of senior Lucas Patten. He did have a fumble early in the third period, and the Cougars’ Lincoln Howell recovered.

Early in the fourth quarter, Edgewood scored at the end of an 11-play, 65-yard drive. Williams dove over the pile on the goal line for the TD.

The Cougars capitalized on a fumble recovery by Gavin Childers to make it 20-0. Wade Phillips darted off left tackle and went 29 yards for a touchdown.

“I think defensively as a whole, we played really hard,” Little Miami coach Nate Mahon said. “It was 6-0 at halftime, and we marched the ball down the field opening the third quarter. But it was a fumble, and it is what it is. We have to come up with our own luck, and we just didn’t do it this time. We made Edgewood earn their points today, but there are no moral victories anymore.”

The Panthers are also in the Region 8 playoff mix and will host Western Hills next Friday.

Little Miami 0-0-0-0—0

Edgewood 6-0-0-14—20

E: Elijah Williams 4 run (Kick failed)

E: Williams 1 run (Dustin Turner kick)

E: Wade Phillips 29 run (Turner kick)

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