Edgewood Academy’s comeback attempt fell just short on Friday night.
Macon-East Academy beat Edgewood Academy, 35-19, in an AISA-AA region game at Charles P. Storrs Field. The Wildcats (3-1, 1-1) found themselves down 21-0 just 10 minutes into the first quarter after turning the ball over three times.
Edgewood was still down 21 points late in the third quarter, but the Wildcats put together 12 straight points to cut the lead to nine points with just a few minutes left.
Despite marching down the field late, Edgewood couldn’t find enough offense to cut the score any closer and turned the ball over to end the comeback try.
“We fought to the end,” Edgewood coach Chad Michael said. “We didn’t come out ready to play and that’s my fault. I made some really, really bad calls offensively that forced us to turn the ball over when we shouldn’t have, and that’s on me. But we fought. From the second quarter one, we never quit and we gave ourself a chance at the end. That’s all you can ask for in a game like that.”
Edgewood’s disastrous first quarter started on the opening play of the game. After receiving the opening kickoff, Edgewood quarterback Austin Champion attempted to throw a screen pass on the first play of the night.
The ball went through his receiver’s hands and landed in the hands of a diving Macon-East player for Champion’s first interception of the season.
Following the interception, Macon-East’s Gabe Spencer punched in a 15-yard touchdown run to put the Knights up, 7-0.
Edgewood’s next two drives didn't get any better, as the Wildcats turned the ball over on downs and punted the ball back to Macon-East, down 7-0.
Macon-East quickly turned that lead to two touchdowns as Spencer went untouched for a 73-yard touchdown run with four minutes left in the quarter to put the Knights up, 13-0.
After another Champion interception, Spencer cashed in again with his third touchdown of the night, a 13-yard run, and put Macon-East up 21-0 in the first with a two-point conversion.
“We have some guys who have not been in really big games yet,” Michael said. “I think we got nervous early. We should have been a little more conservative and maybe it would’ve been a little different if we didn’t turn the ball over four times.”
Edgewood’s defense settled down and didn’t allow another touchdown the rest of the first half, and the offense was able to cut into the lead. With 8:06 left in the second quarter, Champion found senior JT Brazzell open for a 62-yard touchdown pass that cut the lead to 21-7.
That score stayed until halftime, and Macon-East quarterback Deonte Powell opened the third quarter with a 6-yard touchdown run that put the Knights up, 28-7.
Edgewood then attempted its comeback bid.
Following the Macon-East touchdown, Champion found senior receiver Trevor Rodie wide open behind the defense. The two connected on the pass, and Rodie outran the Macon-East defense for a 69-yard touchdown catch that cut the lead to 28-13 with two minutes left in the third quarter.
Trying to run the clock down midway through the fourth quarter, Rodie stripped the ball from the Macon-East running back at the 12-yard line and returned it 88 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 28-19.
Down by nine, the Wildcats went for the 2-point conversion to cut the lead to one possession but Champion’s pass bounced through multiple sets of hands and flew out the back of the endzone.
Edgewood got the ball back following a punt, and Champion drove the Wildcats all the way to the 12-yard line, but a late pass was intercepted by Powell. Powell returned the interception 90 yards for a touchdown and capped the scoring at 35-19 with one minute left in the game.
“We have to keep turning,” Michael said. “You can’t look back at this one. You have to look forward and you have to get better. You have to improve on Monday and keep pulling that rope the same direction.”
Edgewood will host Pike Liberal Arts in a non-division game next Friday.