Loudoun Valley running back Tommy Schonder dealt a blow to the Edison defense when he rushed for 134 yards and scored two touchdowns in the Vikings' win over the Eagles three weeks ago. Edison, however, returned the favor when it mattered most.
The Eagles held Schonder, the Virginia AAA National District co-player of the year, to 51 yards rushing in a 14-12 road victory in the Northern Region Division 5 semifinals in Purcellville last night.
"We had to come out and shut him down because, you know, he's a great runner," Eagles linebacker and running back Keone Kyle said. "We knew he could run the ball."
Edison, which will play in the region final for the second straight year, held Loudoun Valley (9-2) to 172 yards of total offense.
"We've got a lot of guys who have experience from that last year," Edison wide receiver Justin Smith said. "We don't want to have that same feeling again."
The Eagles (10-1) led 7-6 at halftime and came out in the second half determined not to let Schonder beat them. Edison defenders swarmed to the ball whenever it was in his hands and limited him to 14 yards on 11 second-half carries.
"They're a good defense," Schonder said. "That's what you've got to expect. We came off the ball hard. We moved the ball. We just couldn't finish at the end."
Edison took a 14-6 lead early in the second half when quarterback Shawn Lloyd lofted a 17-yard touchdown pass to Smith, who shared district player of the year honors with Schonder.
Loudoun Valley pulled to 14-12 when quarterback Sam Clay scored on a one-yard sneak with 1 minute 37 seconds to play. The Eagles' defense made its final statement on the ensuing two-point attempt, however, as cornerback Buddy Finley stopped Clay on a bootleg and forced a desperation pass that Smith intercepted.
With a wide smile afterward, Finley stated the obvious: "Our defense is pretty tough."