Angelus League opponents have had a way of bringing out the best and the worst in Edison High School's football program in the past seven days.
Friday, the Chargers were just good enough to beat Servite, 14-7, and lost their No. 1 ranking in the Orange County Sportswriters' Assn. prep poll in the process. But on Thursday night, the Chargers were impressive, rolling to a 34-17 victory over Mater Dei in front of 5,000 fans in Santa Ana Stadium.
Edison's fourth straight victory of the 1986 season featured the running of tailback Kaleaph Carter and the versatility of quarterback Mike Henderson. Carter gained 173 yards in 27 carries and scored 2 touchdowns.
Henderson passed for 118 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another 58 yards and 2 touchdowns. He scored on an 11-yard keeper with 20 seconds remaining in the half to push Edison ahead, 27-5, in a game it controlled from start to finish.
"I'm very satisfied," said Dave White, Edison's first-year coach. "I was a little worried about a letdown after last week's game. We didn't have a great week of practice, but the kids are gamers and I knew they would come through.
"We came out right away and set the tone. . . . We wanted to establish the running game from the start."
And that's exactly what Edison did as the Chargers scored on their first three possessions. Carter had gained 111 yards and scored 2 touchdowns by the end of the first quarter, and then Henderson joined the fun with a 16-yard run for a 20-3 lead.
But Mater Dei quarterback Mike Curtius kept his team in the game. Curtius completed 18 of 37 passes for 215 yards and set up both of tailback Pat Leborio's short touchdown runs.
The Monarchs (2-2) appeared sound offensively, but their defense was less effective. In the past two weeks, the Monarchs have allowed 65 points against Santa Ana and Edison.
"They punched the defense up front and controlled the whole game," said Chuck Gallo, Mater Dei coach.
The Chargers weren't forced to punt until 2:47 remained in the game.