Edison 34, Jefferson 26
After his 22nd carry of the game, Edison senior running back Kevin Roberts was so tired that he could hardly walk back to the huddle. With the Eagles trying to run out the clock while holding onto a one-point lead over visiting Jefferson last night in a Virginia AAA Northern Region Division 5 semifinal, an assistant coach came off the Eagles' sideline and shoved Roberts back to the huddle.
Roberts toughed out a few more yards and helped keep the clock running as Edison added a late touchdown. A potential game-tying drive by the Colonials fell short, and the Eagles won, 34-26.
"My legs are dead, but we dug deep and pulled it out," Roberts said.
The victory sent Edison (9-2), which also defeated Jefferson (8-3) in the regular season finale last week, to its first regional final since 1990. The Eagles will travel to face No. 19 W.T. Woodson at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
Roberts finished with 27 carries for 203 yards and one touchdown. He did most of his damage in the first half, carrying 16 times for 172 yards and a score.
Eagles senior quarterback Anthony Robinson took control of the offense as Roberts tired down the stretch. Robinson rushed for 35 yards on Edison's final touchdown drive as the Eagles ran five minutes off the clock. He converted a key third down and barely managed to stay in-bounds on the play.
"I had to put it all on my shoulders," Robinson said. "As we say on our team, it was time for our pride to start kicking in."
"Anthony has gotten better and better and better every week," Edison Coach Vaughn Lewis said. "He's a team leader on both sides of the field for us."
Following the Eagles' late touchdown, Jefferson took over at its 35 with 1:34 remaining. The Colonials marched to Edison's 22-yard line, but they turned it over on downs with six seconds left.
The Eagles intercepted Jefferson junior quarterback Matt Wong three times last week, but he rebounded last night. Wong completed 12 of 27 passes for 213 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and he ran for 138 yards and three touchdowns.
While the Eagles' defense carried them last week, Lewis said that his team tweaked its blocking schemes before the rematch to try to improve offensively. Roberts's exhausted countenance afterward was evidence that the tactic worked.
"It was just a total team effort everywhere," Lewis said. "That's what makes a good team."