Eddies qualify for playoffs; face Dowagiac for titlePublished 7:38am Saturday, October 6, 2012
The Edwardsburg football team accomplished two very important things Friday night as it held off Berrien Springs 26-20.
First, the Eddies qualified for the playoffs with their sixth victory of the season and they also set up a showdown with host Dowagiac for the Wolverine Conference West Division title Friday.
Edwardsburg celebrated its homecoming in style.
Those in attendance at Lou Hoffman Field were party to quite the spectacle as they witnessing a musical performance, fireworks, a parade of floats honoring the U.S. Armed Forces, a royal crowning and footballs literally falling from the sky (the game balls were delivered by a pair of skydivers who parachuted onto the field).
Though the game didn’t start or finish the way the home team would’ve liked, with the Shamrocks (1-6) scoring on their opening drive and then scoring the game’s final 13 points, the Eddies used a 26-0 run that spanned three quarters and made the plays that they needed to seal the win in the end.
The fact that there were so many questions surrounding Edwardsburg’s (who only returned two starters from last season) chances at qualifying for the playoffs makes the way this season has unfolded even more special to the orange and blue faithful.
A sentiment that was shared by Eddies’ coach Kevin Bartz.
“It shows a lot of heart from these kids, they’ve gone through a lot of adversity in terms of losing teammates and they just kept battling, fighting and they’ve done some great things for us so far this season,” he said.
The Eddies used their vaunted “wing-t” offense, which utilized seven different ball carriers, to roll up 263-yards on 37-carries and score four touchdown runs. Caleb Neff ended with the lion’s share of the Eddies’ yardage total, gaining 83 yards (almost all of which came on his first quarter 62-yard TD run) from the line of scrimmage.
The Shamrocks gained 239-yards on offense (all rushing) and scored three touchdowns on runs from 10, 1 and 64 yards.
Zach Williams led all rushers with 96-yards on nine carries with one touchdown and teammate Nelson Westra added 92 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns.
The win came at a crucial time for Edwardsburg as it faces the conference’s top two and undefeated teams in Dowagiac and Paw Paw for its final two games of the regular season.
“We play the conference big dogs the next couple of weeks, they’re going to hit and they’ll play us tough. But it’s good because we’re are going to approach the next two games like they’re playoff games, because these are likely the caliber of teams we could come up against in the playoffs,” Bartz said.
Edwardsburg 8 12 6 0 – 26
Berrien Springs 7 0 0 13 – 20
B – Nelson Westra 10 run (Christian Haack kick)
E – Caleb Neff 62 run (Jason Schimpa conversion run)
E – Dustin Vires 29 run (conversion fails)
E – Jack Bywaters 1 run (conversion fails)
E – Dylan Hulett 14 run (conversion fails)
B – Westra run (conversion fails)
B – Zach Williams 64 run (Haack kick)