EDISON – Four seems to be James Stewart’s lucky number.
Edison High School’s junior running back, who sports the number four on his jersey, scored four of the five Eagle touchdowns leading his team to a 35-21 victory over J.P. Stevens in the annual King of the Limb Thanksgiving Day game on Thursday morning.
“James (Stewart) is an explosive player,” Edison head coach Matt Fulham said. “He’s been great all year and today he just stepped up his game a little bit and of course our line did a great job blocking and our coaches put him in position to make plays, and he did the rest.”
Stewart took the game MVP trophy for the Edison (4-6), and rightfully so, after he posted 277 yards rushing on 20 carries.
“I have to thank my coaches and teammates because I couldn’t have done it without them,” he said. “I knew I was going to have a good game, but I didn’t know it was going to be that good so I’m pretty excited.”
Lance Rice came in clutch for the Eagles on defense. He managed to sack and then intercept J.P. Stevens’ (1-9) quarterback Luke Jacobi.
The sack came midway through the fourth quarter to force the Hawks to punt which lead to an Edison scoring drive.
The interception came at 1:56 left in the game to deny J.P. Stevens from getting another score.
“Our defense has been playing well lately and we’ve been flying to the ball and interceptions come with that,” Rice said. “We’ve been working really hard so this win feels good.”
The J.P. Stevens loss did not come without a lack of effort. In the first quarter the Hawks had an answer for every Edison score.
With 7:21 left in the first quarter, Edison quarterback Haaziq Daniels handed the ball off to Stewart who ran for 81-yards to score. The Eagles faked the kick and went for a 2-point conversion which was good, giving them an 8-0 advantage.
The Hawks took over from their own 49-yard line and on the very first play Jacobi handed off to Jihaad Garrett who ran for 51-yards and scored at 7:03. The kick was no good leaving the Hawks down by two points.
On the next drive Daniels handed off to Elijah Davila who ran for 62-yards to set up a 6-yard Stewart touchdown carry. Again the Eagles attempted a 2-point conversion, but this time to no avail. The score was 14-6 in favor of Edison with 4:44 remaining in the first quarter.
Rashiek Harvard lined up in the back field for J.P. Stevens. He caught the ball in the end zone and ran it 100-yards for an immediate answer to the Edison touchdown which equalized the score at 14-14.
On the last scoring play of the quarter Stewart ran for 13-yards. The kick was good to put Edison up 21-14 with 1:40 left in the first.
In the second quarter Edison started to break away.
With 11:05 left in the second the Eagles struck again. Davila ran for 13-yards and a touchdown. The kick was good to give Edison a 28-14 advantage.
The next scoring play didn’t come until the fourth.
The Eagles drove all the way down to the J.P. Stevens two-yard line where Daniels handed off to Stewart for a touchdown. The kick was good.
The Hawks did their best to close the gap. With 5:20 to play Jacobi connected with Raj Patel, who won MVP for J.P. Stevens, for a 55-yard touchdown reception to round out the scoring.
Daniels completed three of nine passing attempts. He threw for 89-yards and rushed for 27. He was intercepted once.
Jacobi completed three of 15 attempts throwing for 66-yards. He rushed for 15 yards, was sacked twice and intercepted three times.
J.P. Stevens leads the King of the Limb rivalry 25-20-4. Edison has won five of the last six games.
“It’s an awesome feeling for us,” Fulham said. “It’s a rivalry and it was a tough game but it’s great for our seniors to send them off with a win. It’s great for our underclassmen to go into the offseason with some momentum and it’s just a real positive thing for our coaches after all the hard work we put in.”
Staff writer Alyssa Davis: firstname.lastname@example.org