A battle of field position, punts and who could come up with the big play when it counted the most went the way of Edison on Thursday night as the Red Raiders edged Monsignor Pace 8-6 at Curtis Park in a District 8-4A contest.
The win moved Edison to 4-3, 1-1 while Pace fell to 2-5, 0-2. Trailing 6-2 at halftime, the winning points for Edison wound up coming early in the third quarter when the Red Raiders took the second half kickoff and drove 46 yards in nine plays. The winning score came on a fourth-and-10 from the Pace 13 when quarterback Jovis St. Luc dropped a screen pass to Kaii Henry who broke two tackles and surged into the end zone. The extra point was blocked.
Pace’s best chance to take the lead came with eight minutes left when Edison punter Robert “Ra Ra” Knowles took off from punt formation on fourth-and-four from his own 29 and was tackled a yard short.
But Knowles, the team’s best defensive player who already had a sack and a recovered fumble, made up for it on the next series with another sack as Edison pushed Pace back to the 45 forcing a punt.
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“The offense was struggling to put points up so we knew it was up to the defense and we went out there and accepted the challenge,” said Knowles. “It was a matter of staying focused and doing our part out there.”
Pace had one final desperation play from the Edison 40 but Pace quarterback Eric Walker, rather than heave one to the end zone, took off running and was run out of bounds at the 20 to end the game.
Unless the Red Raiders upset Booker T. Washington in two weeks, Pace will need to defeat Gulliver on Oct. 31 which would force a three-way tie between the three schools in contention for one playoff spot.