Virginia AAA Northern Region Division 5 Semifinal

Edison Thrives With 'Nickname' Defense

By Jeff Nelson
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, November 17, 2007

Corey Washington is in need of a nickname.

His Edison teammate, Drew Baldwin, earned the moniker "All-America" after making three interceptions in a game earlier this season. Last night, Washington did him one better. He intercepted four passes and caught a touchdown pass in a 45-26 road win over Madison in the AAA Northern Region Division 5 semifinals.

"What's better than All-American? All-World?" Edison Coach Vaughn Lewis asked, punctuating his question with a burst of laughter. "We're going to have to let the kids come up with it. But I'm glad Corey's an Edison Eagle."

Washington, a junior whose brother, Wayne, starred for Edison's defense four years ago, transferred from Paul VI Catholic at the beginning of the season. Corey Washington and his fellow secondary members immediately came up with an interception competition, which Washington led after a pick in their first game.

That lead did not last. In the next 10 games, he had none -- a span of 40 quarters. And he heard about it.

"[Opponents] weren't throwing my way, so I was doing what I had to do," Washington said. "But [my teammates] still got on me."

By causing four turnovers last night, Washington repeatedly put the ball back in the hands of Edison's capable offense.

Senior quarterback Ben Barber threw for 152 yards -- 51 of them on a first-quarter touchdown to Washington -- and ran for 110 yards and three touchdowns.

Edison held a modest 14-6 lead at halftime, but Barber ripped off a 64-yard touchdown run in the first minute of the third quarter to give the Eagles (10-2) a little cushion.

Madison (9-3) remained close. It trailed 31-20 after Griff Cummins's one-yard touchdown plunge with less than seven minutes left. But Barber answered with a scoring run and Washington's fourth interception of the night set up the Eagles' final touchdown.

The Warhawks rushed the ball 32 times for 102 yards (3.1 yards per carry). They didn't have a run longer than seven yards until the game's waning moments.

"The defense is a unit," Barber said. "One guy does not make a defense stop an offense. "

Edison 45, Madison 26

Going Out in Style: Madison senior Tucker Barstow caught three passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns.

Up Next: Edison faces Stone Bridge next week in a rematch of last year's Northern Region final, which was won by the Eagles on their way to a state runner-up finish.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company