Eagles Overcome 11 Point Third Quarter Deficit with 19 Unanswered Points for Win, 35-27
EDISON, NJ–For the first time since the early 1990s, the Edison Eagles are a team to be reckoned with in the rough and tumble GMC Red Division. Not only are the Eagles 2-0 on the season, but they have beaten two top five teams in perennial division powerhouses, Piscataway and Sayreville. In those two wins, Edison has averaged 34.5 points per game against schools that have always prided themselves on defense.
Trailing 27-16 in the third quarter, Edison scored the last 19 points for a 35-27 victory. Running back, Aqeel Daniels ran for two TDs and caught a pass for another while quarterback James Waldron threw for a score and ran for another. Sparking the comeback, Kyle Boyer Tucker got a much needed touchdown in the third to answer Sayreville’s opening drive of the second half with a 60 yard TD run on the first play from scrimmage in Edison’s first drive of the third.
The Eagles had momentum early by jumping on Sayreville much like they did on opening weekend against Piscataway. Edison dominated the field position battle early on, and eventually cashed in with the first touchdown on a run by Daniels for a 7-0 lead. Meanwhile, Sayreville was sputtering as the Bombers went three and out on their first two drives. However, on Sayreville’s third drive, the Eagle defense made a key mistake that woke up the Bombers.
On a 2nd and 10 play, Edison was able to get a stop, but was called for a 15 yard face mask penalty that gave Sayreville its first 1st down of the game. The Bombers then took advantage as quarterback Malik Pressley, who had a TD run, threw for a first down completion into Edison territory, and two plays later, Myles Hartsfield scampered down the Bombers sideline for 40 yards, and the first of his three touchdowns to tie the score at 7-7. Edison didn’t get far on its ensuing drive, and Sayreville got the ball back on its own 28 at the beginning of the second period.
First play from scrimmage for the Bombers yielded their second score of the game as Hartsfield took the handoff, ran left, and then found daylight to his right, and ran all the way to paydirt for 72 yards, and his second touchdown for a 13-7 Sayreville lead. Hartsfield had two runs totaling 112 yards and two touchdowns in just a matter of minutes. Edison would rally for a tying score as Waldron would complete a pass to Tucker inside the Sayreville 10 yard line, and then follow that up with a seven yard touchdown run. The Bombers blocked the extra point for a 13-13 tie.
Sayreville retook the lead with another nice drive highlighted by a 4th down and 3 conversion at the 32 of Edison. Pressley then capped the run with a keeper for a three yard touchdown for a 20-13. The Eagles got some important momentum going into the half when Godwin Asamoah connected on a 38 yard field goal as time expired in the second to close the gap to four at the intermission. However, the Bombers, who had won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, took the third quarter kickoff, and got a 40 yard pass play from Pressley to Hartsfield, who did a nice job of coming back to catch the underthrown ball while fighting off an Edison defender.
Hartsfield then capped the drive with a run of about three yards to give the Bombers their biggest lead of the game at 27-16. However, Edison never gave up in this game, and always seemed to have a response when it was needed. Case in point was on the Eagles ensuing possession at their own 40 yard line. Kyle Boyer Tucker went in motion to the left, and took the 1st and 10 handoff from Waldron, and ran up the Edison sideline for a 60 yard score that closed the gap to 27-23. Edison then got an interception, and drove down the field again for another score on a screen pass left from Waldron to Daniels for a 16 yard TD, and a 29-27 lead after three periods.
Edison’s defense did the rest by bottling up Sayreville’s vaunted Wing-T offense, and forced Pressley to pass. The Eagles came up with some big fourth down stops as well before Daniels capped a 30 yard TD drive with a 10 yard TD run with 1:41 to play. By far this was the best game of the year covered by GMC Gridiron. It was the highest scoring (62 points combined) and closest contest (margin of victory was 8 points) seen this year, and there were two ties and two lead changes. Both teams had nice drives and explosive plays for touchdowns. There were nice individual efforts by Daniels for Edison and Hartsfield for Sayreville. Each team seemed to have an answer for the other. And, of course, there was an upset as the usually middle of the pack Eagles knocked off its second division powerhouse already this season.