Edison 25, Jefferson 13
Although Edison is known mostly for its big-play offense, last night the Eagles captured the Virginia AAA National District championship thanks to two huge plays on defense.
Senior Anthony Robinson returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to give Edison the lead, and about four minutes later, junior Buddy Findley returned a pickoff 38 yards for a score to help the Eagles secure a 25-13 victory over Jefferson on a frigid, windswept evening in Alexandria.
The win gave Edison (8-2, 7-0) its fourth district title since 2000.
"I thought we were going to be able to drive on them better," Edison Coach Vaughn Lewis said. "So it's a good thing our defense played as well as it did on the line of scrimmage and in the secondary with the interceptions."
Edison and Jefferson (8-2, 6-1) will meet again next week in the Northern Region Division 5 semifinals. The Colonials were held to their lowest scoring output since the season's fourth week and were denied their first football district championship.
Jefferson quarterback Matt Wong (10 of 24 passing for 105 yards, three interceptions) scored on a short run late in the second quarter to put Jefferson ahead 7-6 -- a lead the Colonials would maintain until midway through the third quarter. Then Edison's defensive backs took things into their own hands.
Robinson reached up and snagged one of Wong's passes -- it was the second time he picked Wong off last night -- and raced down the sideline in front of the packed home stands, shaking a tackle at about the 15-yard line before diving into the end zone to give the Eagles a 12-7 lead.
"That was the big play we needed," said Robinson, who is also the Eagles' quarterback. "We had made some bad plays on offense, so I wanted to make up for it."
Then Findley got his turn. After the ball deflected off teammate Devan Clark, Findley grabbed the ball and took it in for the score, which gave Edison 18-7 lead with 3 minutes 35 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Edison running back Kevin Roberts (24 carries for 99 yards) scored a touchdown midway through the fourth to put Edison ahead 25-7.
"Our secondary had the skill to match their receivers," Findley said. "They weren't used to that. I couldn't sleep all week, thinking about this game and winning a district championship. I can't believe it happened."