By Jim Tortolano
Edison High’s journey toward a second-straight CIF-SS football title hit a roadblock Friday night. In fact, “block” is the operative word, as a blocked punt appeared to be the turning point in a 42-13 loss to Oaks Christian at Cap Sheue Field in a quarter-final Division 2 contest.
Trailing only 14-6 in the second quarter, the Chargers were punting on a fourth and seven from their 23-yard-line when their kick was blocked and recovered at the EHS 3-yard line.
On the Lions’ first play from there, junior running back Zach Charbonnet dove into the end zone for a score, and things got out of hand after that. Oaks Christian scored three more times, icing the game in the third quarter and advancing to the semifinals next week.
The unexpectedly lopsided loss ended Edison’s season at 8-4 and also concluded the outstanding career of quarterback Griffin O’Connor, who guided the green-and-gold to the Division 3 crown in 2016 and will now take his talents to Yale University.
After an exchange of possessions, the Lions scored first on a eight-play 71-yard drive culminating in a 1-yard dash by quarterback Josh Calvert at 4:05 of the first quarter and a 7-0 lead.
In the second quarter the Chargers struck back on a 3-yard dive by Jack Carmichael at 5:53, capping a 12-play 85-yard drive, the key play being a 31-yard pass from O’Connor to Brandon Moradian. But the extra point kick was low and the score stood at 7-6.
Oaks Christian extended its edge at 10:03 on a short drive after O’Connor was intercepted at the Charger 41. On the next play, Calvert found Bryce Farrell on a 41-yard scoring strike that put the Lions up 14-6.
The blocked punt and its aftermath gave the visitors – who had defeated Edison 24-19 earlier in the season in a non-league contest – a 21-7 lead and the game wouldn’t be close again.
Another punt misfire benefitted the Lions on the next Edison possession. On a fourth and seven from the Charger 42, the snapped ball dribbled off the hands of the punter and was recovered by Oaks’ David Walker at the 43.
Calvert then passed to Farrell for a gain to the 1-yard line. Two plays later Charbonnet burrowed his way into the end zone for a 28-6 lead at the 5:02 mark of the third quarter.
On their next possession the Lions’ got a 63-yard touchdown run from Charbonnet to put the game out of reach. The 6-foot-1-inch running back finished the game with 166 yards rushing. For Edison, O’Connor completed 16 of 33 passes for 214 yards and one touchdown.
Here are Friday night’s CIF-SS quarterfinal football playoff results for local teams.
Division 2: Oaks Christian 42, Edison 13 (see game details above).
Division 6: Golden Valley 41, Fountain Valley 14. The Barons finish their season with a 7-5 record.
Division 8: Silverado 35, Garden Grove 20: A 20-7 halftime lead didn’t hold up for the Argonauts as they lost at home. The red-and-white finish the season with a 7-4 mark and a Garden Grove League title.
Division 10: Valley View 59, Pacifica 28: The Mariners concluded their season with a 10-2 mark after the loss.
Division 13: Orange 27, Rio Hondo Prep 14: The Panthers advanced to the semifinal round with the win. Joseph Martinez rushed for 179 yards and two scores for the orange-and-black, who are 9-2 on the season.
Categories: High school sports