Edwardsburg runs over Paw Paw in playoff opener

Published 5:32 pm Saturday, October 30, 2021

EDWARDSBURG – It didn’t matter who the Edwardsburg handed the ball to Friday night. Chances were they were going to end up in the end zone sooner rather than later.

Without attempting a pass, and with just over 10 minutes of possession time, the Eddies plowed their way to a 58-0 Division 4 pre-district win over Paw Paw on a muddy, wet Leo Hoffman Field.

The Eddies (10-0) rushed 23 times for 383 yards and seven touchdowns while also dominating on the defensive side, holding the Red Wolves (5-5) to 78 yards and never letting them past their own 47-yard line.

“I felt that we did everything well,” said Edwardsburg coach Kevin Bartz.  “Offensively defensively, special teams — I was pleased with the crispness that we came in with.”

The first half was dominated by Logan McColley and Jacob Walker. McColley rushed five times for 49 yards and a touchdown, adding an 84-yard punt return score in the second quarter. Walker had four carries for 100 yards and three touchdowns.

Brenden Seabolt stole the show in the second half, rushing three times for 121 yards and two touchdowns, including an 80-yard score on the first play of the second half. Connor Ostrander added three carries for 54 yards, while Mikey Prior had three rushes for 32 yards and a touchdown.

Patrick Szlanfucht, Nick Eaton, Isaiyah Swartz, Jacob Pegura and Andrew Colvin also had carries for the Eddies. Every Edwardsburg touchdown was from at least 30 yards out, with touchdown runs of 31, 30, 33, 30, 80, 30 and 35 yards.

“That’s fairly typical for us, especially in bad weather,” Bartz said of the rushing attack. “We were pretty much able to do what we wanted on the ground, so we didn’t need to put the ball in the air.”

Despite the steady rain and five total fumbles, neither team turned the ball over until late in the fourth quarter, when Edwardsburg’s Andrew Castelucci intercepted a Matthew Hartman pass.

“It’s not a very favorable night in terms of weather-wise,” Bartz said, whose team defeated Paw Paw 57-14 on Oct. 1. “We had very few errors.”

Edwardsburg will host Three Rivers in the district final Friday night. Three Rivers upset Vicksburg 9-7 in its pre-district matchup. The Eddies won the first meeting with the Wildcats 55-0, but Bartz said they present a new challenge.

“Now we’re going to get a spread [offense] team, so our preparation is going to be different.” he said. “As we told the kids, we went from 32 teams to 16 teams. Every time the field gets whittled down a little bit, everybody gets a little bit better.”