Even though one team had a better record than the other, records get tossed right out the window when the high school football playoffs start.
Westminster Christian found that out the hard way Friday afternoon when the Warriors, the No. 4 seed in Region 4-3A hosted No. 5 Edison in a regional quarterfinal.
It was two different teams on two different levels as the Red Raiders, following a 5-5 regular season, dominated from the second they got off the bus to the final whistle to beat the Warriors 33-7.
Edison, which is making only its second postseason appearance in the last 14 years, now moves on to next week’s Region 4-3A semifinal. The Red Raiders will travel north to take on top seeded Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian at the Eagles field on Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
The Red Raiders, whose schedule included the likes of Naples, Central, Carol City, Booker T. Washington and Northwestern, jumped in front early on a 36-yard touchdown run by quarterback Keith Moore and 1-yard plunge by Lamont Harris to lead 14-0 after the first quarter and never looked back.
“With the schedule we played all season long, this game was set up for us and really had us prepared,” said Moore, who was sharp during his three quarters of play and completed 16-of-18 passes for 164 yards. “No disrespect to our opponent today, but that wasn’t Booker T. or Carol City out there. We know we can’t take anybody lightly so it’s like killing a mosquito with an ax. We got off to a great start and just took it from there.”
A 10-yard score by Wilkhari Jones midway through the second made it 21-0 at the break before the Red Raiders tacked on two more scores in the third quarter. Only a dropped pass on a two-point conversion kept the game from gong to a running clock.
“Dominate from the start, that’s the kind of mind-set you have to have when you come out here now because it’s lose or go home,” said running back Christian Gantt Jr., who had a big day on the ground with 150 yards on 10 carries. “Our team is full of talent, and we know we have what it takes to keep this thing going.”
Even though Edison’s defense never forced a turnover, it didn’t matter as the Red Raiders thoroughly dominated the line of scrimmage. Before the score ballooned to 33-0 and coach Luther Campbell started to substitute freely, Westminster (6-5) had just 18 yards of total offense and one first down.
The Red Raiders lost the shutout with just 1:21 left when Westminster running back Denim Edwards went 80 yards for a score, which was more yardage than the Warriors in the game to that point.
“Couldn’t agree more,” said Campbell, when asked if the tough schedule is beneficial against other teams at this point. “What we did and who we played all season long had us ready for today. When you play those teams, you’re able to look at a team like this and, no disrespect, they have a nice squad but ... let’s just say we were comfortable from the start of the game that we would be able to handle things easily and we did.”