WINFIELD — It took just two plays for Edmondson-Westside to make a statement Friday night at Parker Field against host South Carroll. After a 7-yard run by Kevin Martin, quarterback Teon Gardner threw a perfect strike down the left sideline to Deshawn Rufin for a 60-yard score.
It was the beginning of a first-quarter barrage as the Red Storm went on to rout the Cavaliers 44-7 in the season opener.
South Carroll fumbled the ensuing kickoff and three plays later Edmondson-Westside took a 12-0 lead, this time on a Gardner 15-yard run. The Red Storm kept the pressure on as it scored one more time in the opening quarter and held an 18-0 lead with 8 minutes, 27 seconds remaining in the period.
Edmondson showed its speed from the opening snap and stretched the field against the Cavs defense without resistance. And on defense the Red Storm ran through the South Carroll offensive line play after and play not allowing quarterback Cole Evans and the rest of the offense to find a rhythm.
"I think we got better as the game went on, we played much better in the second quarter than we did in the first quarter, Cavs coach Steve Luette said. "I think a lot of people had first-quarter jitters, for a lot of them it was their first varsity game."
The Cavs totaled just 26 yards of total offense in the first quarter as Edmondson swarmed the ball on each play. But South Carroll started to adjust and found some success in the second quarter.
Evans started to throw quick passes before pressure could reach him and Matthew Gamble was frequently on the reeving end of those throws. Gamble caught all four of his passes in the first half. On the ground the Cavs began to run at the blitz, but getting to the second level of the defense still proved to be a problem.
As the second quarter waned the Cavs were deep in Red Storm territory but were faced with fourth and long when Gamble fought for a ball down the left sideline and came down with a 27-yard grab to set up a goal-to-go situation. Three plays later Gamble hauled in a 7-yard catch again down the left sideline to account for South Carroll's only score of the night.
But the Red Storm went down the field yet again and scored to end the first half, stopping any momentum that South Carroll had amounted.
Edmondson used big plays throughout the contest to score quickly and bury the Cavs. Ruffin ended with a game-high 159 receiving yards and two touchdowns on four receptions and Martin tallied 136 yards on the ground with just eight carries.
Although South Carroll improved as the game went on — allowing two scores in the second half — the Red Storm's early lead allowed them to play with a comfortable cushion for the final three quarters.
"What we need to focus on is playing a complete game and that's what we didn't do," Luette said. "The second and third quarters were good and what we need to do is put together four good quarters and the boys know they can do it … they've done good so far this season in getting better each game we've played from the scrimmages to now and I think we can continue to build on that after this game."
Edmondson-Westside 18 12 8 6 — 44
South Carroll 0 7 0 0 — 7
EW-Deshawn Ruffin 60 pass from Teon Gardner (conversion failed)
EW-Gardner 3 run (conversion failed)
EW-Kevin Martin 1 run (conversion failed)
EW-Justin Hawkins 5 pass from Gardner (conversion failed)
SC-Matthew Gamble 7 pass from Cole Evans (James Dytrt kick)
EW-Trejour Owens 7 run (conversion failed)
EW-Ruffin 24 pass from Gardner (Martin pass from Gardner)
EW-Martin 67 run (end of game)
EW-Kevin Martin 8-136, Trejour Owens 7-65, Jerome Butler 7-50 Teon Gardner 4-38, Justin Hawkins 2-12, Damontaa Johns 3-(-3), Victor Fonseca 1-(-3); SC-Ryan Oden 11-38, Jacob Snell 8-28, Brendon Savage 5-21, Dylan Wilson 2-(-1), Cole Evans 14-(-24).
EW-Gardner 5-10-0 137, Johns 3-5-0 88; SC-Evans 10-24-0 101.
EW-Deshawn Ruffin 4-159, Adrian Lindsey 2-48, Owens 1-13, Hawkins 1-5; SC-Matthew Gamble 4-52, Snell 3-7, Wilson 2-31, Oden 1-11.
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