Van Edwards has emerged as one of the University of Akron’s prized offensive weapons this season.
And on Saturday, the Island Coast alum and Zips sophomore had his bellwether game, rushing 16 times for 112 yards in the Zips’ 35-25 comeback win over Ball State on the road in Muncie, Indiana.
Edwards, whose previous career rushing game high was 89 yards on Sept. 24, added 73 yards on kickoff returns to push his offensive total to 190 all-purpose yards.
His second quarter touchdown, a 45-yard scamper that cut the deficit to 3 and gave Akron its first points, also ignited a Zips offense that would go on to outscore Ball State 35-15 over the remaining three quarters.
His effort, which was recognized with a Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Week nomination, was his third game of over 100 yards of total offense and his second most yards tallied since Oct. 1, when he combined for 227 yards overall.
With four games remaining in the regular season, Akron finds itself at 5-3 and remains in the hunt for the MAC championship, where they currently stand in second place in the East Division with a 3-1 record.
If it comes to that, Edwards likely will have a say. On the season, he’s rushed for 322 yards in seven games and has two touchdowns. He’s carrying the ball for nearly 6 yards per attempt.
Naples graduate Manny Morgan, a junior with Akron, had seven carries for 43 yards in the game.
Youngstown standouts: Former South Fort Myers standouts Nate Dortch and Kenny Bishop, seniors with Youngstown State, combined for six tackles in the team’s 24-10 loss to South Dakota State. Dortch also had a pass breakup.
Breakout Dolphin: Cape Coral graduate and Jacksonville freshman CJ Lewis had his breakout game on Saturday, logging four tackles, three of which came on special teams, in the Dolphins’ 61-49 win over Morehead State.
Bulls upset: Immokalee alum and South Florida junior D’Ernest Johnson combined for 83 all-purpose yards, including 63 on kickoff returns, in a surprise 46-30 loss to Temple in an American Athletic Conference game in Philadelphia on Friday. It was the Bulls’ first conference loss.
Shutdown corner: Maryland cornerback JC Jackson had two tackles, one forced fumble, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry in a 28-17 win over Michigan State in Big 10 play. Jackson, an Immokalee High graduate, helped the Terps improve to 5-2 overall.
Defensive mark: Fort Myers alum George Davis, a redshirt freshman with Marshall, had three tackles in the team’s 27-24 loss to Charlotte.
High-flying kicker: Air Force senior Steve Brosy, a former Fort Myers standout, booted three punts for 150 yards, including a long of 53, in a 34-27 loss to Hawaii.
Forgettable game: Arkansas sophomore Ryan Pulley, an Island Coast graduate, managed two tackles and one pass breakup in a crushing 56-3 loss to Auburn.
Tough outing: Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert was 19 of 32 for 126 yards in a 35-14 loss to North Carolina. The former Island Coast starter is 2-5 with the Cavaliers this season.
Huskie contributes: Palmetto Ridge graduate Ron Johnson, a junior with Connecticut, had nine carries for 31 yards in a 24-16 loss to Central Florida in the team’s annual Civil ConFLICT game.
Promising play: Palmetto Ridge alum Jaheem Washington, a Wittenberg University freshman, rushed eight times for 62 yards and caught one pass for 10 yards in a 40-0 win against Hiram College in a Division III game.