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ORANGE COUNTY SOUTHERN SECTION FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS |
DIVISION I

Late Edison Rally Can't Stop Loyola From Advancing

November 25, 2000|PETER YOON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The game-clinching drive looked similar to most of the others Los Angeles Loyola High put together in its Southern Section Division I second-round game against Edison Friday night at Orange Coast College.

Running back Bo Renaud made bruising runs for small gains. Quarterback Matt Ware displayed his agility with athletic plays for big gains.

True, it wasn't finished with a touchdown, but that didn't matter.

When Ware took a knee to run out the clock, Loyola had driven 64 yards in the final 6 minutes 23 seconds, thwarting a comeback bid by Edison and sealing a 21-14 Loyola victory.

Loyola, which last made it to a Division I semifinal in 1997, will face Rialto Eisenhower next Friday at a site to be determined.

Trailing, 21-14, Edison drove to the Loyola 30 with 6:30 to play, but the Loyola defense stopped running back Darryl Poston on a fourth-and-two carry.

The Cubs took over from there for the game-ending drive.

"It was scary," Loyola Coach Steve Grady said. "I can't live like that. Our defense played a great game, but that was a gut check for us and I'm proud of the way we came through."

The Loyola defense controlled most of the game, limiting Edison to 93 yards in total offense. Poston, who averages 145 yards rushing a game, had minus-14 Friday night. The Chargers rushed for minus-23 yards as a team and lost the time of possession battle, 34:53-13:07.

Still, the Chargers stayed in the game with a couple of big third-quarter plays on defense and special teams.

Edison defensive back Chuck Linman intercepted a Ware pass and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown to pull the Chargers within 21-7 with 2:18 left in the third quarter.

The Chargers then recovered an onside kick and closed the gap to a touchdown when quarterback Richard Schwartz found Christian Prelle in the left corner of the end zone on a fade route.

"I thought we had the game under control," Grady said. "But then the worst thing that could have happened, happened. Give them credit for coming back."

The first play of the game gave Edison a clue about how tough the Cub defense would be. Schwartz took the snap and looked to pitch to Poston, but Loyola lineman Branko Seretti penetrated and tipped the ball for a fumble.

Loyola recovered at the Edison 25 and scored five plays later.

The Cubs took a 14-0 lead when Renaud went 11 yards up the middle with 3:27 to play in the first half and scored their final points on a Ware bootleg with 4:39 to play in the first half.

Edison had only three first downs and 19 yards in the first half, but Charger Coach Dave White praised his team's effort in the second half.

"We shut out a great team in the second half," White said. "I knew the guys didn't want to go home and wonder why they didn't play hard in the second half."

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