After showing off his running ability last week in a 10-point loss at O’Fallon, Granite City freshman Freddie Edwards proved to be far more than a one-dimentional quarterback on Friday against the Alton Redbirds.
Edwards flipped a 1-yard scoring pass to Kendrick Williba midway in the third quarter to break a 21-all tie and the Warriors went on for a 41-27 win in a Southwestern Conference football game.
Edwards, who rushed for an even 300 yards against O’Fallon, finished with 265 yards on a crisp early fall night. Showing blazing speed, Edwards tallied on runs of 49, 76 and eight yards while adding a 46-yard touchdown pass to Williba midway in the first quarter as the Warriors (4-3, 3-2) took a 21-0 lead.
Winless Alton (0-7, 0-5) rallied behind a pair of touchdown passes by quarterback Taylor Price to tie the game at 21 at halftime.
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But when Williba snuck in the end zone after catching the flip from Edwards with 4 minutes, 58 seconds left in the third quarter, the Warriors had a 28-21 lead.
“He (Edwards) has done a pretty good job. But its a team effort,” Warriors coach Carl Luehmann said. “He and we can throw the football a little bit and when we run the football like we did tonight, it opens up the pass a little bit.
“The one thing I’m a little disappointed is that we made some mental mistakes and turned the football over in the second quarter and they (Alton) were able to get back in the game. We have Belleville West and Edwardsville the next two weeks and we can’t afford mental mistakes against those two teams.“
Running back Richard Graham added a 14-yard scoring run and added 126 yards on the ground for the Warriors, who remained in the postseason hunt with the win.
Price, who three for 186 yards in the first half, tied the game at 21 at halftime with his second scoring pass of the game.
But after an exchange of possessions to start the second half, the Warriors went 65 yards on 10 plays for the go-ahead score. Edwards then sprinted past the Redbirds on his 79-yard run early in the fourth quarter to give his team some breathing room.
“With two weeks to play we’re still in the (playoff) hunt,” Luehfmann said. “But we’ve still got a lot of work to do. We still have to clean up some things. If we can do that then maybe we can get to the Super Bowl (playoffs).”