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Soggy night brings end to dreary season for WCHS
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If Soddy Daisy running back Cedric Edwards didn’t have a highlight tape before Friday, he is sure to make one now.
Edwards ran for two scores, caught a touchdown pass, threw a TD pass and had a punt return touchdown to help the Soddy Daisy Trojans crush the Pioneers 54-14 on Friday night.
The Pioneers had hoped to finish the season on a high note, but instead completed their eighth winless season in the program’s history.
The Pioneers had a few shining moments in the season finale. Junior Mitchell Ashford had a splendid second half, catching six passes for 68 yards and a touchdown, but most of the yardage Warren County was able to rack up offensively came after the Trojans put the game away in the first half.
Soddy Daisy started with the ball, but for just the third time this season, Warren County kept its opponent from scoring on its opening drive.
A sack by Calvin Hammond and Tristan Reish set up a fourth-and-long and the Trojans were forced to punt. A bad snap sailed over Nathan Hodges’ head and the senior wasn’t able to run for a first down, leaving Warren County to take over at the Soddy Daisy 39.
Two short runs by D’Andre League and an incomplete pass by Hunter Mullican gave coach Tommy Johnson a tough decision just two minutes into the game.
Facing a fourth-and-seven at the Soddy Daisy 36 and without starting punter Ricardo Duenas, coach Johnson sent out Johnny Smith to punt instead of electing to go for a first down.
Smith’s punt was downed at the 15 and the Trojans went back to work. Soddy Daisy went 85 yards in nine plays, highlighted by a 32-yard reception by Edwards. Senior quarterback Brett Standifer capped off the drive with a 12-yard scoring strike to Spencer Stewart to give Soddy Daisy a 6-0 lead with 4:04 to play. The Trojans missed the PAT to keep the lead at six.
Soddy Daisy tried to catch the Pioneers napping on the ensuing kickoff by trying an onside kick, but Charles Calvert recovered near midfield.
After three straight runs, coach Johnson once again had to decide what to do on fourth down. At the Soddy Daisy 47 on fourth-and-two, Johnson decided to roll the dice. The call backfired when League was stuffed on a run and the Trojans got the ball back.
The defensive stop started the Cedric Edwards show in Soddy Daisy. Edwards scored on the next three drives for the Trojans. One was a 37-yard touchdown throw on a halfback pass to Zach Keller.
After a Hunter Mullican interception, Edwards caught a 42-yard touchdown pass on a screen where the ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage. Edwards added his third touchdown on a one-yard plunge that was set up by his 66-yard run the play before.
Trailing 24-0, the Pioneers put together a 13-play drive to get on the board. A 14-yard Mullican pass to Lee Carden, along with a 15-yard facemask penalty, got the drive into Soddy Daisy territory.
Mullican hit tight ends Aaron McKinley and Nick Sangi on the drive to move inside the 20, but the Pioneers eventually faced a fourth down at the 19.
Coach Johnson went for it again and the Pioneers got a fresh set of downs when a Soddy Daisy defender tackled Carden in the endzone to draw a pass interference call.
Warren County took advantage when League scored on a fourth-and-goal from the Trojan 3 to make it 24-6. The PAT was blocked, leaving the Pioneers trailing by 18 with 3:02 to play.
Edwards helped Soddy Daisy get the momentum back before halftime. Edwards capped a six-play, 50-yard drive that lasted less than two minutes with a two-yard TD run. Standifer hit Keller with the two-point conversion pass to make it 32-6. Edwards also returned a punt 49 yards for a score right before the half as Soddy Daisy led 39-6 at the break.
The TSSAA mercy rule started in the second half when Edwards scored on a 39-yard run and Soddy Daisy converted a two-point try to make it 47-6.
With a running clock the rest of the game, the Pioneer passing game provided a few highlights.
Mullican completed six straight passes, four to Ashford, on a 49-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter. Mullican hooked up with Ashford for 12 yards to cap off the drive. Mullican also hit Sangi with the two-point conversion pass to make it 47-14.
The Trojans added a late touchdown to make it a 40-point game and the Pioneers failed to score on their last two possessions.
Mullican finished 18-of-28 for 128 yards. Carden caught three passes, moving his season total to 28, which tied Ashford for the team lead. League finished with 21 carries for 58 yards and four catches which netted three yards.