Edwardsville quarterback Brenden Dickmann made the long trip to Oswego worthwhile.
Dickmann connected for two touchdown passes and ran in a third score as Edwardsville put up 28 unanswered points to defeat No. 5 Oswego, 31-14 in Saturday night’s Class 8A second round playoff game.
“I thought Branden did a great job executing our offense and throwing the ball,” Edwardsville coach Matt Martin said. “It was a great win. It was probably one of the best team wins we’ve had as far as special teams, offense and defense. It was just a great effort. They’re a great football team. It was just two good teams going at it, and this time we got the better end of it.”
No. 12 Edwardsville (10-1) overcame a shaky start that included a missed field goal attempt on its first possession of the game and two key penalties that kept Oswego’s first drive alive and resulted in an early 7-0 lead for the Panthers.
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Edwardsville got back on track with an interception by Samuel Tilden after teammate Andrew Holderer tipped the pass by Oswego quarterback Levi Olson. The turnover eventually led to a 22-yard field goal by Riley Patterson with 5:05 to play in the first half.
Oswego took a 14-3 lead on a 42-yard pass play by Olson, but everything changed in the final minutes leading up to intermission. Daval Torres caught a pair of passes from Dickmann to help put the Tigers at the Oswego 3. After Cyress Ahart was stopped inches short of the goal line, he punched it in on the next handoff with 35 seconds left on the clock to put Edwardsville within striking distance 14-10.
“I was proud of the kids. Good things weren’t happening, but they kept fighting,” Martin said. “That swung the momentum going into the second half.”
The second half belonged to Edwardsville.
Holderer intercepted Olson at the Oswego 37 to stop the Panthers on their first drive of the second half. On the third play from scrimmage, Dickmann (11-for-14, 147 yards) ran in the 29-yard touchdown to put the Tigers ahead, 17-14, with 8:33 to play in the third quarter.
“Coach (Kelsey Pickering) made great adjustments at halftime. Coach Pick is the hardest working defensive coordinator and I’m so proud of him,” Martin said. “He’s grown so much over the years. It was simple adjustments. They gave us simple formations and we finally got lined up right. We made some personnel changes, and that helped too.”
Tilden came up with a sack on third-and-8 to force Oswego to punt, and Edwardsville’s offense was driving once again. The Tigers reached the red zone, but sent Patterson onto the field on fourth-and-4 for a 37-yard attempt. Instead, Oswego was called for defensive encroachment, and Edwardsville was given a first down at the 15.
Four plays later, Dickmann connected with Dayleon Harris for the 10-yard score to put the Tigers ahead, 24-14. Edwardsville’s final score game in the closing minutes of the game and was set up by a 35-yard run by Chris McCartney across midfield. Three plays later, McCartney scored from the 22-yard line to give the Tigers a sizable lead, 31-14, with 4:04 remaining.
With the win, Edwardsville advances to the quarterfinals and will host No. 20 Glenbard West (9-2). Game date and time to be determined.
“They’re one of the best programs in the state, so that will be quite the challenge,” Martin said of Glenbard West.