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Champions run seals Edgewood win

Story by Griffin Pritchard | Publisher
Photos by Brian Tannehill | Director of Photography

ELMORE – Edgewood needed four quarters Friday night to even their season mark to 3-3 in a 21-14 over Fort Dale. Austin Champion, according to Wildcats Coach Chad Michael put the team on his back on the final drive, capping the win with a 1-yard touchdown run with :26 left to play.

Michael: “the biggest thing on that final drive we had a fourth and nine and called what I think is our best pass play. Austin made a great throw between a couple of guys and Brody Whitt made a great sliding catch. Then we had third and eight and Austin made a great decision to pull it down and run it taking the ball down to the run where we were able to punch it in. It showed great poise by all of our guys to execute in those tough situations.”

Tough situations seem to be the theme of the season for the Wildcats as they operate on a feast or famine level in terms of offensive output. The week prior, Lowndes defeated Edgewood 34-7. The week before that, Edgewood defeated Abbeville Christian 40-0.

But on Friday – despite the back and forth scoring between the Wildcats and Eagles – Edgewood rattled off 334 yards of offense and held Fort Dale to just 201.

Michael: “I thought we fought to the very end. Even when we made mistakes, we didn’t let it affect how we played the next play.”

And that’s really what it came down to: how does Edgewood respond?

Everette Black punched it in from 2 yards out to put the Eagles up 7-0. Edgewood answered in the second with a touchdown pass from Champion to Whitt. They missed the point after, so the Wildcats trailed 7-6.

But they responded and took the lead at the 8:25 mark. Gabe LeMaster cut loose on a 69-yard touchdown run. Going for two, Champion connected with Bradley Boone to send the Wildcats into intermission up 14-7.

Black, late in the third, completed a short pass to Sterling Arnold that – with the kick – tied the game.

Edgewood won it in the fourth on the short Champion run.

Passing was neither team’s strong suit as Champion threw for 79 yards on eight completions. Black threw for 83 on seven completions. On the ground is where the Wildcats did their damage running 255 yards on 42 carries. LeMaster was given a glut of the handoffs, 22 in all, and amassed 183 yards. Champion finished the night with 63 and Chance McDaniel added nine.

Defensively, the Wildcats were led by Bryson Boone and Parker Shaw (a combined 10.5 tackles. Bradley Boone, Cooper Freeman, Wes Reeves and McDaniel finished with a combined 15.5.

The Wildcats are set to host Banks Friday before traveling to Cecil next week for a Thursday night showdown with Macon East. 

Scores and stories from around Central Alabama. More than just a sports Article.

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