First came a safety where, led by defensive end JaRé Tolbert, the Springs D-line put major heat on Edison quarterback Eduardo Mendez as he dropped back in his end zone and was forced to throw the pass away, prompting an intentional grounding call.
After another Springs punt pinned Edison deep in its own territory again, safety Donte Smith picked off a Mendez pass and returned it to the Edison 7. Three plays later, Thomas, who finished the night as the game’s leading rusher with 128 yards on 18 carries, skirted right end from 4 yards out and the Hawks, following Torres’ successful extra point, were up 9-6.
Torres then came through again midway through the second quarter when a Springs drive stalled at the Edison 16 and he calmly nailed a 34-yard field goal to make it 12-6.
But the Red Raiders would seize the momentum from there, scoring once before the half to tie the game at 12 at halftime and again midway through the third to go up 18-12 (all three of their two-point attempts failed).
With just under nine minutes left in the fourth, Springs took advantage of a big Edison miscue when a high snap on a punt attempt gave the Hawks the ball at the Red Raiders 38. Two plays later, Thomas broke through a gaping hole in the left side and raced untouched to the end zone for a 37-yard score. That’s when Torres yanked his PAT, leaving the game tied and setting up the frantic finish.
“Just a great win for the program and definitely another step in the right direction,” said Bethune. “I guess it’s been quite awhile since they had back-to-back wins around here (2009), so everyone is feeling pretty good right now.”
But Bethune, like most football coaches off a couple of wins, knows that you’re only as good as your last game and now understands that the next seven weeks (all district games with a bye in between) will define his team’s season.
“These are district games now and take on a whole new importance,” Bethune said. “The celebrating from Edison is over. It’s time to get down to work and win the games that really count.”