And when the dust settled Friday night at Bachelder Field, the visiting Chargers came out on top 24-7 over Western Reserve. Edison scored 10 points in the last 3-plus minutes of the game.
“That score wasn’t indicative of the game; that was a battle,” said Edison coach Jim Hall, whose Chargers improved to 2-1. “I’m proud of all the kids. I’m glad to get out of here with a win.”
Western (1-2) coach Mike Stoll credited his team with playing hard.
“The defense was outstanding all night. We got a lot of guys on the football,” he said.
The ‘Riders defense held Edison junior running back Sam Stoll to 45 yards on 17 carries. In Week 2 against Norwalk, he gained 197 yards on 37 rushes.
“We were focused on stopping him,” Mike Stoll said.
The Chargers gained a total of 124 yards on the ground Friday, with all but 17 of those gains coming in the first half.
Hall applauded Western’s run defense.
“The key was they shut down our run game. Their defense played lights out. They took away everything we wanted to do (in the) run game,” Hall said.
What Western couldn’t stop was the dynamic duo of junior quarterback Caleb Bissell and senior wide receiver Brady Patterson. The two Chargers combined for three touchdowns and 128 yards total.
“Brady Patterson had a heck of a game receiving. Caleb Bissell had his first real start. He threw some real nice balls,” Hall said. “He put up the ball where Brady could go up and get them. I think they did a great job together.”
The first time Patterson caught one of Bissell’s passes, the reception went the distance.
The pair combined for a 25-yard TD to give Edison the first score of the game with 2:25 left in the first quarter. Senior James Hill capped off the short, 61-yard drive with the first of three extra points to give the Chargers a 7-0 lead.
Western’s only score came with seven minutes until halftime. Senior Isaiah Antill ran the ball 33 yards into the end zone for the TD. The score came immediately after the ’Riders recovered Bissell’s fumble.
The PAT was good and the teams went into the locker rooms tied at 7-7.
Bissell and Patterson connected again for the Chargers with 9:25 left in the third quarter. Patterson grabbed a short pass and ran it in for the 51-yard score, giving the visitors a 14-7 lead.
In the fourth quarter, the ’Riders drove to the Chargers’ 24-yard line. But Western twice failed to gain one yard and turned the ball over on downs with slightly less than nine minutes left in the game.
Each of the coaches considered it a deciding factor.
“I thought we’d be able to get that. I trusted my offensive line,” said Mike Stoll, who saw his ’Riders make too many too turnovers and the Chargers punishing them with big pass plays.
“A game of inches. We needed to pick up that first down; that was the key to the game,” he added.
Hall liked what his defense did to stop Western.
“The defensive stand was huge. They keep us in games until the offense gets going,” he said.
With 5:05 left in the game, Edison senior linebacker Jack Lykins intercepted Western quarterback Matt Perkins and took the ball to the 6-yard line. The Chargers’ offense stalled, but Hill came through with a 27-yard field to make it 17-7.
The ’Riders fumbled the ball on the subsequent kickoff and the Chargers jumped on it at about the 20-yard line.
Edison converted the turnover into six points with Bissell finding Patterson in the end zone for a 16-yard TD with 1:22 left in the game.
The Chargers go to Upper Sandusky for another non-conference game next Friday, while Western entertains Crestview to begin Firelands Conference play.
Follow Reflector staff writer Cary Ashby on Twitter at @Cary_reporter and on Facebook at “Cary Ashby — reporter & comic book blogger.”