By: Derek Johnson/Special Contributor
GRAND SALINE- Grand Saline erased a 17-0 deficit then survived Edgewood’s last second bid to force overtime as the Indians stunned previously unbeaten Edgewood, 27-24 at Indian Memorial Stadium.
Edgewood took the opening kickoff and wasted no time in taking an early, 7-0 lead over rival Grand Saline. The Bulldogs moved the ball 65 yards in just six plays and quarterback Hayden Wilcoxson capped the drive with a 26-yard touchdown as he moved in-and-out of several defenders on his way to the end zone.
Grand Saline (4-2 overall, 2-0 district) went 3-and-out on their opening possession then once again Edgewood put together a long scoring drive with a combination of the run-and-pass as they moved the ball 75 yards in just over four minutes. Edgewood pushed the lead to 14-0 on a 14-yard scoring run down the middle by Wilcoxson then later added a field goal to take a seemingly, commanding, 17-0 lead over the Indians.
Edgewood (5-1, 1-1) had a chance to extend their 17-0 lead when they had a first-and-goal from the six yard-line but the Bulldogs went 25 yards backwards on back-to-back penalties then missed a 32-yard field goal to give Grand Saline a little glimmer of hope to get themselves back in the game.
After being held to just seven yards of offense and no first downs throughout most of the first half, Grand Saline proceeded to put together their best drive of the night as quarterback Preston Anderson completed a 20-yard pass to Francisco Elizalde then reeled off a 26-yard run to move the Indians into Edgewood territory. Grand Saline scored on the very next play to trim the deficit, 17-7 when Anderson called his own number for a 33-yard touchdown run.
Grand Saline caught another break when Edgewood fumbled the ball away on the very first play of the ensuing drive. The Indians capitalized on the miscue when they converted an improbable 4th-and-20 at the Edgewood 37 yard-line. Anderson was chased out of the pocket then tossed a pass down the right side on a curl route to Brett Kindle, who juked a pair of defenders and turned it into a 37-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 17-14 with 2:29 left in the first half.
Grand Saline received the second half kickoff and quickly moved into Edgewood territory when Anderson hooked up with Hudson Griffin on a 40-yard pass down the left side. Anderson then carried the ball for an 18-yard gain down to the Edgewood 12 yard-line. Anderson was hit out of bounds and a small fracus ensued on the sideline where the officials threw several flags and the teams had to be separated.
Grand Saline took its first lead of the game, 20-17, two plays later on a trick play where Anderson handed the ball off and got it back on a double reverse then delivered an 8-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Hudson Griffin.
Edgewood went back to its bread-and-butter offense which was primarily using their superior offensive line to establish the run and control the clock. The game began to get a lot more chippy when Grand Saline was flagged for a late hit and once again there was some jawing and shoving going on after the play. The officials called the players together from both teams to calm things down.
Edgewood then regained the lead when Wilcoxson, perfectly placed a 29-yard touchdown pass that hit Heath Parker in stride to give the Bulldogs a 24-20 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs defense came up with a stop then grinded out a 60-yard drive that chewed up over seven minutes off the clock but Grand Saline stuffed a 4th-and-3 on their own 14 yard-line to give the Indians a chance to regain the lead and to perhaps pull off a stunning, upset victory.
Grand Saline went to a hurry-up offense and it paid off when Payton Butterfield slipped past the line of scrimmage and outraced everyone for a 58-yard touchdown to give the Indians a 27-24 lead with 2:03 left in the game.
Edgewood had one final chance to save their undefeated season and they did manage to move the ball inside Grand Saline territory with just 12 seconds left in the game. Grand Saline came up with a defensive stop that appeared to have ended the game, but the officials met and determined there was two seconds left for Edgewood to run one final play.
The Bulldogs passed up the chance for a hail-mary, and instead lined up for a 48-yard field goal hoping to tie the game and force overtime. Antonio Ramirez put his leg into the kick and it was straight and appeared to have enough distance but it fell inches short which triggered a wild celebration as the Grand Saline players rushed onto the field to celebrate an upset victory over rival Edgewood in the “Highway 80 Rivalry” game.
|Grand Saline||0||14||6||7 —-||27|
EDGE- Hayden Wilcoxson 29 run (Antonio Ramirez kick) 9:36 1Q
EDGE- Wilcoxson 14 run (Ramirez kick) 4:04 1Q
EDGE- Ramirez 24 field goal 10:20 2Q
GS- Preson Anderson 33 run (Trent Adralin kick) 4:13 2Q
GS- Brett Kindle 37 pass from Anderson (Adralin kick) 2:29 2Q
GS- Hudson Griffin 8 pass from Anderson (PAT Failed) 9:50 3Q
EDGE- Heath Parker 29 pass from Wilcoxson (Ramirez kick 6:39 3Q
GS- Payton Butterfield 58 run (Adralin kick) 2:03 4Q
|Edgewood||Team Statistics||Grand Saline|
Edgewood- Hayden Wilcoxson (15-23-0-172). Grand Saline- Preston Anderson (10-16-0-127)
Edgewood- Hayden Wilcoxson 26-153, Casey Leath 20-135, Timothy Carroll 12-97, Brady Bannister 2-18, Carter Seay 4-9. Grand Saline- Preston Anderson 15-103, Payton Butterfield 3-61, Brett Kindle 1-23, Hudson Griffin 1-5, Caleb Amaya 3-(-2).
Edgewood- Heath Parker 2-41, Brady Bannister 5-37, Lukas Grace 4-37, AC Watson 2-25, Graham Fabbri 2-32. Grand Saline- Brett Kindle 6-53, Hudson Griffin 3-54, Francisco Elizalde 1-20.