The Edgewood Cougars again came from behind to beat a tough team as they prevailed over the Wilmington Hurricane on Friday night for a 34-20 win as they opened up Southwestern Ohio Conference play.
Both teams came out early and made mistakes. Edgewood (4-0, 1-0) again put the ball on the ground which led to points for the Canes and Wilmington (3-1, 0-1) seemed to have some early communication problems as they started off with several delay of game calls stalling drives and allowing the Cougars to stay close on the score board.
The Hurricane were able to get the games first score on a 56-yard touchdown run by Zach Day as he was able to get around the Edgewood defense and out race them to the end zone to put his team on top.
The Cougars looked to be driving for the tieing score, but a fumble that was recovered by the Hurricane stopped the drive and Wilmington once again moved the ball down the field and scored on a David Henry touchdown from 1-yard out. Henry would find the endzone one more time on the night as he punished the Edgewood defense with his downhill running.
The Cougars, who came from behind last week in a game to Badin, found themselves trailing again 14-0 before they found the endzone when Matt Barger ran up the middle and 66 yards later he was celebrating Edgewood's first score. Barger would finish the night with 19 carries 200 yards and three touchdowns.
With the score 14-7 in Wilmington's favor, this game was yet to be over and both teams were fighting hard to stay unbeaten. The Hurricane would capitalize on yet another turnover in the first half as Eric Pelfrey through an interception. Wilmington again went to the ground game and on the touchdown by Henry and even though they missed the kick the Cane was again up two scores, 20-7.
Edgewood, in a familiar spot trailing early in the game, would not quit and was able to put together another scoring drive as David Jones got outside the Wilmington defense and sprinted his way into the endzone and after the Zach Griffin PAT, the Cougars trailed by only six points at 20-14.
Wilmington, determined to win, took over late in the second quarter and tried to get the ball into the endzone as they executed a perfect hook-and-ladder play that resulted in a huge gain and put them with in striking distance again. However, the drive and the half ended when Jones tipped a Cody McCune pass and Austin Garrett intercepted it at the 2-yard line. The half time score was Hurricane 20, Cougars 14.
The Edgewood defense again came out of the locker room and played excellent defense, shutting out Wilmington in the second half. As the game went on the Cougar defense continued to gain momentum and were determined to keep the Hurricane from scoring. Mason Back and AJ Pieratt both came up with interceptions giving the ball back to their offense and keeping the Wilmington offense on the sideline.
With the score still 20-14 midway through the third quarter the Hurricane were putting together an impressive drive and looked to on their way to another score until James Armstrong, who was injured on the play, stopped Day on a 4th-and-2 play. Edgewood would take over the ball just inside the 50-yard line and a couple plays later Eric Pelfrey would find Back in the endzone for a 32-yard touchdown. Griffin's kick was good and the Cougars took over the lead for the first time 21-20.
The Cougars’ defense continued to play hard and after defensive end Cody Hall sacked McCune for a 14-yard loss the Wilmington was forced to punt.
The Edgewood offense would strike quickly again as Barger would found a seam in the middle of the line and from 50 yards out would score. Griffin missed his first PAT attempt of the year wide right and the Cougars now led by just seven points 27-20.
With time running short, the Hurricane had one last chance on offense to score and tie the game. However, after a good punt by Griffin they had to travel 80 yards to do so and the Edgewood defense, which had been relentless in the second half, was standing in front of them determined to keep them from moving the football. Hall again made some big plays as he blocked several passing attempts and the Edgewood defense would once again stop the Hurricane from scoring.
The game would end with a final score of 34-20 in favor of Edgewood as Barger would sneak into the endzone from one yard out. Both teams played well in this contest and did some things well. Both teams should enjoy success during the remainder of the season.
Moving ahead, Edgewood (4-0, 1-0) visits Ross (1-3, 0-1). You can throw the records out when these two teams play, there is no love between these squads and after losing in OT last year the Cougars will be looking to stay perfect and revenge that lost.
Wilmington (3-1, 0-1) travels down to Northwest (4-0, 1-0) to face an unbeaten Knights team that has big-play potential. The Hurricane will have to establish a run game, control the ball and the clock up in this game to have a shot of being