The news could’ve been worse for Edgewood High School’s football team as the Cougars departed Kumler Field on Friday night.
They could’ve been losing. But they weren’t.
Edgewood held a 21-9 advantage over visiting Franklin when Mother Nature’s lightning show suspended play after three quarters. The final period will be played Saturday at 7 p.m.
» PHOTOS: Nick Graham’s gallery from Kumler Field
“We’re still winning, but there were too many mistakes, too many missed opportunities, too many penalties in the wrong situations,” Cougars coach Scott Clemmons said. “Now it’s a 12-minute game. We need to clean up those mistakes and play hard for 12 minutes.”
EHS senior running back Wade Phillips chewed up 196 yards on 15 carries and went 80 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.
“That was awesome to start a game like that,” Phillips said. “Everything opened up, the blocks hit, and that’s what we do. We just run our offense like we’ve run it since we were little.”
Said Franklin coach Brad Childers, “You can’t let good players get loose on the first play of the game. I think our nerves got us there. Guys were excited, we knew what they were going to do, and we just didn’t match their intensity on the first play.”
Edgewood's Kory McCall tries to tackle Franklin's Gage Johnson as he carries the ball during Friday night’s game at Kumler Field in St. Clair Township. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
The Wildcats found themselves down 21-3 at halftime, but they could’ve taken the lead in the second stanza.
The Cougars (1-0) were up 7-3 when a wide-open Franklin receiver dropped a fourth-down pass that seemed to have touchdown written all over it. Edgewood responded with two TDs in the last 78 seconds of the half, a 34-yard run by Lincoln Howell and a 15-yard pass from Corbin Craft to Justin Hiltbrand with 0:07 on the clock.
Franklin (0-1) got field goals of 19, 29 and 33 yards from Cooper Daniels. The 33-yarder made it 21-9 with 4:44 left in the third quarter, and the Cougars were on a nine-play drive at the FHS 40 when play was stopped.
Quarterback Braden Woods (13 carries, 54 yards) and Matt Centers (nine carries, 48 yards) did some nice running for the Wildcats, but Edgewood’s defense kept them from crossing the goal line.
Edgewood’s Tyler Began (52) goes after Franklin running back Matt Centers during Friday night’s game at Kumler Field in St. Clair Township. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
“We always talk about bend but don’t break, and those young men on defense are doing a great job of making them have to kick field goals,” Clemmons said.
Franklin’s two third-quarter drives made it inside the Edgewood 15 before resulting in 3-pointers by Daniels.
“I’m really happy with our kicking game, but we need to add some touchdowns,” Childers said. “You can’t make the mistakes that we continually make against football teams that are really good. It came down to one or two plays again for our guys tonight.”
Elijah Williams has 12 carries for 57 yards for the Cougars. Howell has added 44 yards on five rushes.
E: Wade Phillips 80 run (Dustin Turner kick)
F: Cooper Daniels 19 field goal
E: Lincoln Howell 34 run (Turner kick)
E: Justin Hiltbrand 15 pass from Corbin Craft (Turner kick)
F: Daniels 29 field goal
F: Daniels 33 field goal