Inglewood, CA – Edison trailed by six points with just under two minutes left in the game when quarterback Tyler Gioia’s pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage on fourth and goal.
The Chargers comeback bid fell short and Inglewood’s defense finished with eight sacks to help the Sentinels defeat Edison 22-16 in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs on Friday at Coleman Field.
“We didn’t leave anything left in the tank,” Edison head coach Jeff Grady said. “Kids battled from start to finish. I’m really proud of how we played and competed for four quarters. We just came up short.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Inglewood got on the board with a 36-yard touchdown run by running back Tariq Al Ugdah. A successful 2-point conversion gave Inglewood an 8-0 lead in the second quarter.
Edison was driving down the field when Justin Johnson intercepted Gioia in the red zone. Inglewood had the ball at their own 4-yard line when running back Damon Williams was tackled in the end zone by Austin Grbic. Edison avoided a first-half shutout with the safety and trailed 8-2 at halftime.
Inglewood’s stifling defense held the Edison offense in check with constant pressure from it’s front seven. The Sentinels had five sacks in the first half. Edison broke through in the fourth quarter with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Gioia to Tyler Hampton. The Chargers took a 9-8 lead.
“That’s a stout defense,” Grady said. “They are really good up front. Obviously they gave us some trouble and they are good in coverage.”
On the ensuing drive, Edison sacked Inglewood quarterback Justyn Martin on fourth and five. Troy Fletcher scored on a 12-yard run to give Edison a 16-8 lead with 10:30 left in the fourth quarter. Fletcher put the team on his back and finished with 30 carries for 186 yards.
“That’s what he has been all year,” Grady said of Fletcher’s performance. “He’s a heck of a football player.”
After forcing a turnover on downs, Martin hit L.B. Brown in stride for a 50-yard touchdown and a 22-16 lead with 4:56 remaining in the game.
“It’s one of the more enjoyable teams I’ve ever been around,” Grady said. “They are competitors and you know what you’re going to get from every single day.”