Edison had their big cross town rival, Bell Game last night. This is always a HUGE event...with this years game having a Sunset League Championship on the line. With a sold out crowd of 9,000 people, the boys stepped onto the field, into a college/pro game atmosphere. The noise was electrifying, the stands were filled, people shoulder to shoulder, kids sitting on each others laps trying to squeeze in. Edison started the game very flat, the defense spent the entire first half on the field. Fountain Valley's blitz was killing our quarterback (we're primarily a passing team). Sack after sack, we would hold our breathe, hoping Matt Viles would get back up. The defense, tired but determined to stop Fountain Valley's Kyle Middlebrooks (averages 8 yards a carry) played with all heart. Jullien came up with a big play...reading the hand off to Middlebrooks, he tackled him for a loss of 2 yrds (see 7:27 of Varsity Times Blog). It's 0-0 heading into the half, Fountain Valley held us to only 18 yards in the first half.
Our offense looked defeated...we waited through half-time hoping that our NORMAL Edison team would return to the field. Without an offense, our only hope was to hold them and score on defense. The defense stepped up continuously throughout the 3rd quarter and held them again.
In the fourth quarter, we fumbled and the crowd sat down, quietly awaiting the inevitable. Fountain Valley took this opportunity along with help from several Edison penalties to move the ball down the field and punch it into the end zone. The game had taken a turn for the worse...now we would see what this team was made of. With Luke Gane attending his first game since his bone marrow transplant, the team had a determination far and above the Bell and Sunset League Championship Title...they were playing for a fallen teammate. A brother who has been going through the battle of his life.
The FV touchdown seemed to breathe a new life into Edison's offense. Edison used a trick play, straight out of the Boise State play book. Viles pitched the ball to Davion Orphey who faked a sweep...Orphey then tossed it back to Viles, he threw it 38 yards to Will Andrew. The offense was finally ALIVE. With 5:38 left to play, we scored on a short pass to Jordan Zumwalt. The crowd went crazy, the noise was deafening, the team was fighting back. We had momentum and didn't waste it.
The defense stepped onto the field, flapping their arms, signaling the crowd to make more noise. This strategy would drown out the quarterbacks count and cause an offside penalty, it worked! Holding them once again, they proudly stepped off the field, now confident that they could rely on the offense. They were not let down...with 1:36 left in the game, Mikey Rivera caught a touchdown pass, 14-7 Edison.
The kickoff would then be returned 88 yards for a touchdown by Middlebrooks. A flag in the backfield signaled a Fountain Valley penalty, the touchdown would not count. The defense came out determined to finish the task. With seconds left, Jullien went helmet to helmet and stayed down hurt, he stumbled to get up, 2 seconds left and FV on our 20 yard line. As Jullien made it to the side lines, he passed out, as the trainer tried to carry my 6'4 son. Final play, a deep, desperate pass thrown into the end zone, sailed past the intended receiver, we won! The team grabbed the Bell and hoisted Luke onto their shoulders...carry both to the center of the field with pride.
Jullien was on the sidelines repeating himself, trying to stand up to return to the game, unaware that it was already over. He had received a concussion. He walked over to shake hands in a daze, went and took pictures with the Bell and Luke Gane. The trainer followed him around, foggy he asked over and over again, "Did I shake hands and take pictures with the Bell?"
Our night ended with an incredible high and a trip to the emergency room...WHAT A GAME!!
Check out the Varsity Blog Insider live report of the game. View game on IBNSPORTS.com (click on demand, then Edison HS @ Fountain Valley) (Edison is in white-Jullien's #9)...WHAT A GAME!