Edison 26, Yorktown 10
The mud-caked field at Yorktown last night was hardly the ideal surface for speed. But the conditions did not hinder Edison junior wide receiver Justin Smith.
Smith, a transfer from South Carolina who has had a penchant for big plays all season, caught two touchdown passes in the first half -- on plays of 30 and 76 yards -- to help the Eagles defeat Yorktown, 26-10, in a key AAA National District game.
The win keeps Edison (7-2, 6-0) in line for its fourth district title in five years heading into next week's regular season finale against Jefferson. The National District winner earns an automatic berth in the Northern Region Division 5 playoffs.
Yorktown (6-3, 4-2), the defending district champion, can make the playoffs only as an at-large team. The Patriots also would need several teams to lose next week.
Despite intercepting two passes last night, bringing its season total to 20, the Yorktown secondary could not stay with Smith.
"This was like a playoff game for us," said Smith, who has scored touchdowns on six of his 21 catches this year. "We do things in practice to help with our footwork for field conditions like this."
Edison quarterback Anthony Robinson put the game away midway through the third quarter when he sped 53 yards on an option run for a touchdown. Running back Kevin Roberts (17 carries, 110 yards) added an 18-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Smith's first touchdown came early in the second quarter on a wide receiver screen. He caught a quick pass, made one move on a defender and then sprinted to the end zone. The second came when Smith got a step on the defensive back and then hauled in a long, arcing pass from Robinson.
Smith is averaging more than 21 yards a reception this season.
"We're not a passing team, so Justin is not going to get the stats that some receivers will get," Eagles Coach Vaughn Lewis said, "but he's a great receiver with great hands. I also have to credit our offensive line, which has really been firing off the ball for us down the stretch. That helped us control the second half."
Yorktown was without one of its speedier performers. Sophomore running back Max Milien (890 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns) did not play because of a sprained ankle suffered in the first quarter of last week's win over Stuart.
Roddy Hafiz (20 carries, 119 yards), who was filling in for Milien, rushed nine times for 62 yards on a first-quarter drive that George Pierson capped with a 24-yard field goal to give Yorktown a 3-0 lead.
Pierson, whose career-long field goal is 53 yards, attempted a 57-yarder on the final play of the first half, but the low drive was blocked at the line of scrimmage.