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Big plays highlight annual Edison-St. Paul scrimmage

Mark Hazelwood • Updated Aug 18, 2018 at 9:20 AM

NORWALK — It was about the best situation either side could script.

Edison visited St. Paul Friday night in the final preseason tuneup before the 2018 high school football season begins next week.

The Chargers and Flyers played one live half of action at Whitney Field in Norwalk. St. Paul rallied from 13-0 down to outscore Edison by a 28-13 margin over the two quarters.

One the visitor side, Jim Hall wants to see his team handle some adverse situations better than the Chargers did. Meanwhile, St. Paul coach John Livengood saw his team take control after an early turnover and two-score deficit.

“I liked how our kids responded,” Livengood said. “You never want to give up 13 points and be down that quickly, but it was a great learning situation for our kids to see what we’re made of. I was really happy to see us bounce back.”

After St. Paul threw an interception at the Edison 45-yard line, the Chargers’ Jacob Brewer found a hole in the left side and broke into the clear for a 55-yard touchdown run.

Each team then traded possessions, and Edison’s Cas Mastropaolo ripped off a 45-yard TD run with one minute left in the first quarter. Kolt Wikel connected on the extra point for a 13-0 lead.

But the Flyers answered in the form of a lengthy drive, capped by a 3-yard TD run by Cam Caizzo. Jake Griffin’s PAT made it 13-7 with 10:03 left in the second quarter.

Edison then fumbled on its ensuing drive, which set up a 60-yard scoring strike from Griffin to Ethan Blair at the 6:24 mark of the quarter. The PAT put the Flyers up, 14-13.

“We’ve been able to move the ball in scrimmages, but haven’t finished drives,” Hall said of the Chargers. “That’s been an issue. But today we got a couple of nice long runs for scores and moved the chains well.

“We dropped a couple passes and some things we can control to help ourselves out,” he added. “We don’t have a lot of room for error. We have to be efficient.”

Noah Good closed out the scoring in the scrimmage by reaching the end zone on both offense and defense.

The senior captain for the Flyers capped a drive with 12-yard TD at the 3:07 mark to make it 21-13. Just 1:10 later, teammate Davis Hedrick stripped an Edison running back of the ball — and Good scooped it up and returned it 39 yards for a TD with 1:57 left.

“What a great effort by Gavin Moffit for straightening it out and keep ing a flat line and allowing our pursuit to get there, and then Davis for great hustle and a great strip,” Livengood said of the defensive TD.

Hall said it’s hard to get too caught up in a scrimmage, but there was plenty to like in many areas.

“We didn’t handle the adversity like we needed to,” he said. “But I was really happy with the way the kids battled. We have some young guys in there going against an efficient offense that comes down hill. You have to be physical and match it. I was happy with what we did there.

“You can’t turn the ball over and we did that twice, with one turning into a touchdown,” Hall added. “But like I told our guys though, we’ll come back. We’re going to get better and better every week. It’s a good team that is working real hard.”

Edison is at Firelands next Friday in its season opener. Both teams are coming off 8-2 regular seasons in 2017, with the Falcons winning, 20-17, in Milan.

“They control what they can bring to practice,” Hall said of his team. “If they bring their best effort to practice every day each week, we give ourselves a good chance on Friday. That’s all you can ask for. You win games during the week.”

St. Paul will have its annual season opener against St. Mary Central Catholic — uninterrupted in the Week 1 slot since 1986 — next Saturday at Strobel Field in Sandusky.

“I saw a lot of positive things that I’ve been looking for over the past two weeks,” Livengood said. “I saw a lot of those things in the second quarter, so very happy and excited about that.

“We had had some adversity in that first quarter, and all those things are good learning experiences,” he added. “We made some mistakes, but we worked to get better. It’s a young, inexperienced group, and we didn’t know how they were going to react. So real happy with the way the kids fought back in the second quarter and found themselves.”

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