CINCINNATI - When the Edgewood Cougars (6-2, 3-2) meet the Talawanda Braves (1-7, 1-4) you can always expect a hard fought contest and this game was no exception. Both teams came out running and had several big plays. Both teams also had trouble keeping their heads as the game was plagued with penalties.
Edgewood came out and on the first play from scrimmage and gave the ball to their leading rusher Matt Barger, who got loose up the middle for a 79-yard touchdown run, only to be called back on a holding penalty. It was the first of many for this Edgewood team. The Cougars were able to recover and get the ball into the end zone as Barger carried it in from two yards out and the Cougars took the early lead 7-0.
Next up was the Braves’ offense and running back Maurice Thomas, who came into this game 2nd in the SWOC in rushing yards with 975 yards. Thomas would also get free on this first drive with a carry of 71 yards only to be called back on penalty. The Braves were unable to recover and the score remained 7-0 in favor of Edgewood.
The Cougars would go on to score three more times in the first half on touchdown runs of two yards by David Jones and AJ Pieratt and Barger would get in once more from a yard out.
The Cougar defense would play and shut the Braves out for the remainder of the first half. The teams went into the locker rooms with the score halftime score 28-7 Edgewood.
After receiving the second half kickoff Talawanda took over at their own 20-yard line. On the second play from scrimmage Thomas exploded up field for a 73-yard touchdown run and put his team on the board and with just over 11 minutes to go in the third quarter the score was 28-14 in favor of Edgewood.
The Cougars, as they have done all year, just kept running the football and Talawanda's defense was no match for this Edgewood offense. In the second half the Cougars would have three possessions. Two of those would end in touchdown runs by Pieratt, one from 27 yards out, the other from 15 yards. Zach Griffin would also add three more points with a 43-yard field goal his third FG on the season and second one from 40 yards or more.
The Braves scored once more in the second half on another Thomas touchdown, his third of the night, but the Braves just could not keep drives going. They had the ball inside the Edgewood 20 again, but a failed to convert a fourth-down pass as they turned the ball over on downs. In the end the Cougars’ offense was just too much for the Braves.
Next week Edgewood will travel to the Owls Nest to take on an undefeated Mount Healthy team. The Cougars must win this game to continue their hopes of making a playoff run. Talawanda will host a tough Wilmington team, who is much better than their record shows. Both teams will have to do a better job with penalty's to give their team a chance to win.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
HS Football Quick Links
Check the latest high school football playoff scores from around the region.
Check out highlights from this week of high school football action.
Submit photos of the game you went to and view other games' action here!
See who's on top in all the divisions, leagues and states in the region.
Follow WCPO Sports for the latest tweets and breaking news from the Tri-State athletics; featuring Bengals, Reds, UC, XU, Ohio State, Kentucky, high school coverage and much more.
High School Sports
A three-run first-inning home run by senior Kaitlyn Bergman helped the Lebanon softball team to a 6-1 road victory over Northmont on Thursday.