RICHMOND - In a game it needed to reach the postseason for the first time since 1997, Indian Creek was unable to find the endzone in its last eight possessions, including all six times it touched the ball in the second half.
Fortunately for the Redskins, they scored on their first three possessions to jump out to a 19-0 lead and a stellar defensive effort held rival Edison to just one score en route to a 19-7 win in the Route 43 rivalry.
The Redskins not only had playoff hopes on the line Friday at Cartwright Field, but also a piece of their first Buckeye 8 title and the right to retire the current traveling trophy that is at stake in their games with the Wildcats.
TACKLED — Indian Creek’s Mark Ludewig is tackled by Edison’s Mark Smyth (7) and Kyle Minger during Friday night’s game at Cartwright Field. The Redskins defeated the rival Wildcats, 19-7.
-- Mike McElwain
For the second straight Friday Indian Creek exerted its will from the opening kickoff.
"I think the kids knew the importance of the game for a lot of different reasons," said Indian Creek head coach Andrew Connor. "They came ready to play football."
Blake Roar returned the kick 37 yards, across midfield, to the Edison 41-yard line. From there it took the Redskins eight plays to score.
Indian Creek 19, Edison 7
Indian Creek 19 0 0 0 - 19
Edison 0 0 7 0 - 7
IC: Roar 5 run (Mattina kick)
IC: Ludewig 3 run (Kick failed)
IC: Roar 3 run (Kick failed)
E: Smyth 73 run (O'Brien kick)
RUSHING: Indian Creek 46-146-3TD (Ludewig14-58-1TD, Woods 12-36, Roar 8-43-2TD, Kemp 8-9, Sharpe 2-1, Kamarec 1-0, Young 1-(-1); Edison 28-114-1TD (O'Brien 14-56, Smyth 13-53-1TD, Marcus 1-5).
PASSING: Indian Creek 10-19-201-0TD-1INT (All by Kemp); Edison 8-23-185-0TD-2INT (Smyth 7-21-173-1INT, Straka 1-2-12-0TD-1INT).
RECEIVING: Indian Creek (Furda 7-151, Young 1-44, Roar 1-4, Woods 1-2); Edison (Long 3-111, Minger 2-54, O'Brien 2-8, Leake 1-12).
FIRST DOWNS: Indian Creek 13; Edison 11.
PENALTIES-YARDS: Indian Creek 9-55; Edison 1-10.
FUMBLES-LOST: Indian Creek 2-1; Edison 0-0.
David Kemp hit Mike Furda for two 11-yard completions on the drive, and Roar finished what he started, driving in from 8 yards out. Fabio Mattina kicked the extra point and the score read 7-0 just 2:51 into the game.
After forcing a three-and-out, that included sacks by Montel McClelland and Furda, the Redskins took over at their own 47-yard line.
"We got a little bit of a slow start," said Edison head coach Mike McKenzie. "We had some trouble protecting all night. Give credit to Connor and his staff and their kids they played a tremendous game."
It took four plays to score this time.
The big play came when Kemp threw a deep ball to Alex Young that traveled 44 yards down to the Edison 3-yard line. Ludewig powered in from three yards out for the score and after the kick was missed, in part due to a false start penalty that sent the try five yards back, Indian Creek led 13-0 at the 6:02 mark of the first quarter.
The Wildcats got a little something going on their ensuing drive due to a 28-yard Shane O'Brien run, but ultimately turned the ball over on downs in Redskins territory at the 37-yard line.
On the first play of the Redskins next drive, Kemp sent a ball deep to Furda, who outjumped the tight coverage of Willis Long to make the catch. Furda turned and ran, making it to the Wildcats' 2-yard line. A block in the back call after the catch brought the ball back to the Wildcats' 37, but the pass play covered 42 yards and the Redskins were moving again.
Kemp hit Furda for another 15-yard hookup later in the drive and Roar scored his second touchdown, this one from three yards out, to make the score 19-0 Redskins with 29 seconds left in the first quarter.
Indian Creek did not score again.
On the ensuing possession, however, Edison had its best opportunity to put points on the board.
On a third-and-15 play early in the second quarter Smyth hit Long on a screen pass and the senior receiver went 77 yards to the endzone.
Unfortunately for the Wildcat faithful, the only penalty its team was called for came on the play as an Edison player was called for a block in the back at the 2-yard line.
The Wildcats were still set up with first-and-10 at the 12-yard line. Two plays later the Redskins were called for pass interference on second down from the 10 and Edison had first-and-goal from the 5-yard line.
Three straight run plays set the Wildcats up with fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Edison went to the air with Smyth trying to hit O'Brien out of the backfield.
Roar was there to make the big play, breaking up the pass and forcing the turnover on downs.
"Anytime you get a stop like that its because the kids played hard," said Connor. "They dug it in and they did a good job."
The teams exchanged punts, turnovers on downs, and punts until 4:00 left in the third quarter.
After the Redskins turned the ball over on downs, Edison took over at its own 27-yard. On the first play Smyth faked the handoff to O'Brien, broke a tackle in the backfield, and then raced 73 yards for the Wildcats score. O'Brien put the point after through to pull Edison within 12 at 19-7.
"I'm darn proud of the kids," said McKenize. "They fought their tails off in the second half. Once again it was that we weren't able to make plays that I thought we could have and they made some. It would have been easy for our kids to lay down with the way some things have gone in some games this year, but they never quit."
The Wildcats picked off a Kemp pass on the ensuing possession at their own 30-yard line, but they were unable to score when a McClelland sack on a fourth-and-five play ended the drive at the Redskins 39.
"It was all different stunts and blitzes and the kids did their jobs," said Connor. "We thought we were quick up front and those kids put pressure on them."
Edison only had one other chance to score after Smyth hit Kyle Minger on a 56-yard completion to get deep in Indian Creek territory.
Two plays later Young intercepted a Smyth pass in the endzone to end the threat and the Redskins ran out the final 5:57 on the ensuing drive to secure the win and keep their playoff dreams alive.
The Indian Creek rushing attack accounted for 146 yards on 44 carries and three scores. Ludewig had 14 carries for 58 yards and a score, and Roar had eight carries for 43 yards and two scores to pace the Redskins.
Kemp went 10 for 19 through the air for 201 yards with his favorite target being Furda with seven grabs for 151 yards.
Edison was led by Mark Smyth who ran for 53 yards and a score on 13 carries and completed seven of 21 pass attempts for 173 yards.
He was sacked six times by the Redskins' defense.
Smyth's top target was Long with three grabs for 111 yards.
Edison finished 3-7 on the year.
"We were in a couple of ball games this year and it was never a lack of effort," said McKenzie. "Sometimes we just struggled to make plays, but I'm darn proud of our kids. We had a great group of seniors and I'm going to miss them tremendously."
The Redskins (8-2) now play the waiting game as the final playoff positions will not be determined until today's games have been played.
"We're just going to go in and celebrate this win and let the chips fall where they may," said Connor.