Eddies win district title

Published 11:52 am Saturday, November 6, 2010

Edwardsburg celebrates its first Division 4 district championship Friday night in Paw Paw. (The Daily News/Scott Novak)

Edwardsburg celebrates its first Division 4 district championship Friday night in Paw Paw. (The Daily News/Scott Novak)

PAW PAW – There is magic in the way the Edwardsburg football team runs its Wing-T offense.

Friday night, the Eddies were magical in eliminating Wolverine Conference champion Paw Paw from the post season with a 56-21 victory at Falan Field.

Edwardsburg (10-1) rolled up 550 yards on the ground and had three running backs go over the century mark as it picked up the school’s first Division 4 district championship.

The Eddies spotted host Paw Paw a 7-0 lead as the Redskins took the opening kickoff and drove down the field quickly to score on a 13-yard run by Andrew Buskirk, using only a minute off the clock.

Two plays later, Paw Paw found out the same thing that Wolverine Conference foe Otsego found out the week before – Edwardsburg runs the Wing-T to near perfection.

On the second play from scrimmage, Michael Kempton raced untouched 77 yards to tie the game at 7-7 after Jeff Roberson’s extra point kick.

Quarterback Ethan Zimmerman gave the Eddies a 14-7 lead with 1:37 remaining in the opening quarter on a 32-yard run around the left end.

If there was one blemish on the night for the Edwardsburg offense it came early in the second quarter when the Eddies fumbled the ball and Paw Paw’s Corry Daoust recovered it at the Edwardsburg 20-yard line.

It took the Redskins four plays to cash in on the turnover as Buskirk connected with Max Field on a 9-yard touchdown pass. Field’s kick knotted the score at 14 with 10:52 remaining in the opening half.

Edwardsburg would not make another mistake in the game and completely dominated not only the final 10:52 of the first half, but the rest of the contest.

Paw Paw would touch the ball just once more in the second quarter, which was an interception by Edwardsburg’s Kempton. In between the Redskins’ touchdown and the interception, the Eddies scored twice more and settled for a 28-14 halftime advantage.

Following the turnover, Edwardsburg drove down the field with a 13-play drive that netted a 3-yard touchdown run by Lee Williams. The Redskins blocked the extra point, however, to leave it 20-14 with 4:29 to play.

On the ensuing kickoff, Roberson sent a bouncing ball down the field that Paw Paw never kicked up. The live ball was pounced on by Adam Kendall and the Eddies were back in business at the Paw Paw 21-yard line.

Six plays later, Austin Stinnett scored on a yard out and Edwardsburg had a 14-point lead heading into the locker room.

Things didn’t get any better in the second half for the Redskins as the Eddies continued to dominate time of possession.

In fact, from Paw Paw touchdown with 10:52 remaining in the first half until well into the third quarter, Edwardsburg ran 28 of the next 29 offensive plays and scored a trio of touchdowns, the final one coming with 10:04 showing on the third quarter clock when Kendall scored on a 3-yard run to make it 35-14.

On its next possession, the Eddies scored on a 7-yard run by Zimmerman as the lead reached 42-14 and when Williamson added a 25-yard touchdown to his evening, the game went to a running clock due to the 35-point mercy rule.

Paw Paw would force the game back to real time when Andrew Wrona scored on a 1-yard run to make it 49-21 with 11:29 left in the contest.

That didn’t last long as the Eddies worked their way back down the field following the on-side kick and scored on an 18-yard Williamson run to cap the scoring.

“We’ve been getting better and better as the season goes on,” Edwardsburg coach Kevin Bartz said. “Offensively, we are clicking on all cylinders. To be able to get some early stops on Buskirk and to get the early lead on them was huge. It was a big first half for us and it continued in the second half.”

Williamson led the trio of 100 yard rushers with 138 yards on 12 carries and three touchdowns. Zimmerman tacked on 131 yards on eight carries with a pair of scores, while Kempton finished the night with 102 yards on a touchdown. Kendall added 68 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown to the Eddies’ gaudy statistics.

Buskirk, Paw Paw’s all-time leading passer, finished the night 20-of-37 for 244 yards and a touchdown. He also had 45 yards on 14 carries. Wrona caught eight passes for 86 of those yards.

Edwardsburg was able to take away Redskins’ wide out Marquis Gill. He was covered mainly by Dominic Razzono, who had a similar task of covering Otsego’s top receiver the previous week.

The Eddies will now head north to Lansing to face Sexton (10-1) in the regional championship. Sexton defeated Battle Creek Pennfield 47-14 Friday night.

Edwardsburg 14 14 21 7 – 56
Paw Paw 7 7 0 7 – 21

PP – Andrew Buskirk 13 run (Max Field kick)
E – Michael Kempton 77 run (Jeff Roberson kick)
E – Ethan Zimmerman 32 run (Roberson kick)
PP – Field 9 pass from Buskirk (Field kick)
E – Lee Williamson 3 run (kick blocked)
E – Austin Stinnett 1 run (Kyle Dale pass from Zimmerman)
E – Adam Kendall 3 run (Roberson kick)
E – Zimmerman 7 run (Roberson kick)
E – Williamson 53 run (Roberson kick)
PP – Anthony Wrona 1 run (Field kick)
E – Williamson 18 run (Roberson kick)